Web Team Addresses UPIC Survey Results

Posted: July 21, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

As a result of the University Process Improvement Council (UPIC) support services survey conducted last year, the development of departmental web sites was identified as an area that faculty and staff members would like to see improved.

Mason Web Team members Ruth Kifer, associate university librarian, and Bob Nakles, director of the Information Technology (IT) Project Office, say many of the comments on the survey can be addressed by locating the information on George Mason’s Web Development page.

“Some people don’t know what resources are available to them, but we have tried to provide step-by-step instructions on how to create web pages along with several other helpful links,” says Nakles. “Our site can be a one-stop-shop for faculty, staff, and students.”

Users wanting to design a web site can approach the process through one of three starting points: what do you want your web page to do, who will create your web page, or who is your intended audience. The site then outlines several web design basics, including planning, structure and organization, content, page design, and graphics. Sample web site templates, university photographs, and information on the George Mason signature and seal and how to create PDF files are also available.

Faculty and staff looking for an outside company to design their web site will find a list of seven contractors who have agreed to extend government contract pricing to George Mason. A Statement of Work must be completed to give vendors a description of the project, and the IT Project Office will forward the completed template to vendors. Interested vendors will respond to web project ideas with a proposal, and the Web Team and the IT Project Office can help in assessing the proposals received. Specific university and state purchasing guidelines will be followed, based on the proposed project costs.

Another concern on the survey was that some departmental sites become outdated quickly and provide misinformation. Due to limited staff within the Information Technology Unit and the large quantity of George Mason web pages, Nakles says it is the department’s responsibility to create and update their pages, using the available resources.

Kifer says the Web Team has provided guidance regarding the university’s standards and policies through links on the web development page. She also points out there are several other campus resources including the Mason Media Lab, which utilizes students at a minimal cost to work on web projects; the Electronic Publications Office; and the Copyright Office.

For more information, contact Nakles at (703) 993-2975 or Kifer at (703) 993-9050.

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