Get Hooked on Integrations With Github (DPA2)

Github service hooks are awesome tools for developers to integrate Github into the systems their organization uses. Even though there are over 75 items listed in Github’s integrations directory, this presentation will highlight just a few of the interesting ones. Also, we will look at a case study where Loma Linda University leveraged Github’s webhooks, a way to integrate with systems not in the integrations directory, to implement an automated deployment process for their in-house developed intranet portal platform.

Share Human: The Value of Sharing Beyond Authenticity (MCS2)

Humans have always had an innate need to share their lives with others in a variety of ways. From the first cave paintings to the latest apps, we continue to invent ways to learn, to create, to express, to discover, and to share ourselves with the world. But when we share as institutions, as organizations, as brands, we too often let a vague need to be "authentic" get in the way of truly engaging with our human audiences. First presented as the keynote for the 2016 HighEdWeb New England regional conference, this is a personal exploration of how we can and should embrace the human core of what, why, and how we share; how we can eliminate the barriers that keep us from sharing, and how we can share better by sharing human.

Agile: Not Just for Developers Anymore (DPA3)

Agile is a proven methodology to support incremental continuous improvement. It works well when requirements can be expressed as discreet user stories that describe specific kinds of people doing specific things whose value is well understood and agreed upon. But where do those stories come from and how can we be sure they are the "right" stories? A common criticism of Agile is that it works well to manage engineering teams working to deliver individual features, but can feel awkward to creatives like content strategists, user experience experts, and visual designers who may see "the big picture" getting lost in small pieces. This can pose significant challenges to integrated, cross-functional teams seeking to adopt Agile as a single methodology for all of their work. Add to this that higher ed's leadership culture is often more comfortable with traditional project management methodologies and a waterfall approach to planning, and Agile can be quite difficult to pull off. This session will offer a whirlwind tour of Agile and explore how it can be extended to manage requirements and content strategy, UX and interaction design, front and back-end engineering, and visual design and theming. We'll cover process, tools, and deliverables and discuss how to introduce Agile to stakeholders with varying levels of skill and commitment in ways that support the success of their web projects. If you're new to Agile and considering its use, this talk will help you anticipate some of the challenges ahead and offer strategies for meeting them. If you're already using Agile, then hopefully you'll learn something new and share your own approach. Whether you manage an internal cross-disciplinary web team, subcontract parts of your web presence, or work as an army of one, Agile has a lot to offer.

Events in Stereo: How to Help Your Campus Events and Campaigns Succeed (MCS3)

Every year, universities have dozens of major events ranging from graduation to giving days. William & Mary’s Tiffany Broadbent Beker (University Communications) and Sarah Juliano (University Advancement) will explain how they approach these varied events - what’s worked, and what hasn’t. They’ll address the ever-tricky balance between engagement and fundraising on university social media channels and suggest innovative ways to have the entire campus community help distribute your message and promote your event. During this session, they’ll discuss how to set social media expectations, ways to collaborate with your peers across campus, suggestions for creating and executing a hashtag, and how to create a social media guide to make each event one to remember.

Git For The Stubbornly-Resistant Organization (DPA4)

You and your team members would like to introduce Git for managing your development assets. You know it's popular, but you've also heard horror stories about converting. There's a lot of doubt, and things are working now.... sort of. Not well enough to be totally happy, but also not badly enough to just "throw everything up on GitHub" as people seem to keep suggesting. But there is a middle way, a way to move the organization forward into a more modern flexible development infrastructure without feeling like you've lost complete control of your source code. The Git ecosystem has matured to the point it can serve some of the most obstinate masters. This talk will dive into the methods of how I brought a stubbornly-resistant organization into the world of Git and how we tackled the most challenging obstacles to adoption, from management to engineering.

That is Not My Job. (MPD4)

We all know that person — the one who stays focused solely on the task at hand, doing only the work dictated by his or her job description. They may have incredible depth of knowledge and specialized skills — and quite possibly, a lot of education to back it up — but is that what it takes to be successful? Or can the common generalist’s outlook help your team step up their game? What if…everything was your job? What if we are working from the wrong job descriptions? What if, rather than focusing on our own success, we started to ask different questions that focus on our team’s success? How do we promote the success of the team as a whole? What would that look like? How would our focus change? This presentation takes a look at how, by turning the question around, we can change our culture and create stronger teams as a result. We’ll discuss why teamwork matters, and how you can contribute to the team in ways outside any job description, that will result in success not only for you and your team, but your institution as well. And really, isn’t that our job after all?

Nested Content Strategy: Adding Layers to Rally Content Teams (MCS6)

Higher education is a notoriously decentralized environment — and one of the most difficult to reign in when it’s time to change your school’s content culture. A bit of nesting (visualize Russian nesting dolls) can prepare an organization by providing flexibility while managing individual needs and creativity. In this session, you will learn how the University of South Carolina was able to implement change to build on research-driven brand strengths and created harmony across content teams by layering key university messages, attributes and values to lead content development in teams from publications, web, internal communications, social media and more. Learn how to: • Layer your content strategy to add meaning without overcomplicating your message. • Provide flexibility for content creators while still maintaining brand cohesiveness overall and prepare your teams for change. • Identify champions in your team to help spread the message and build a content culture that everyone can rally behind to bring harmony to a house of chaos.

You Can't Spell Usability without USA! (UAD6)

Democratize usability at your campus! Just as content-creation has become the unalienable right of contributors across your campus, so too usability and it's message of user-centered design can become the pursuit of your whole college. We'll take a look at how to bring project teams and staff from across the school together in the patriotic mission of making people-centered websites. This session will cover which usability tasks to implement at every step of your project, how to spread the recruitment workload (so it doesn't all come out of your time budget), and how to spread a culture of student-centered design on your campus. We'll also share our process for recording, captioning, distributing usability results.

Get Dirty. Be a Vagrant! (DPA7)

Do you need to work on your website while offline? Want to test code in a safe, production-like environment, without the extra work of having additional servers to manage? Maybe a little surprise project you want to develop and test without letting anyone know? If this is you--and it should be all of us--you need to be using Vagrant! You will get an introduction to how Vagrant works to allow you to have a complete virtual machine of your preferred production-like environment, how to configure & fine-tune your settings to accomplish amazing feats! And, play with Puppets too! For the managers in the crowd, Vagrant allows you to put a new staff person on a project, and be up and running in five minutes!

Transforming the Traditional RFP into a Request for Partnership (MPD7)

All too often, web projects are destined to fail before they begin due to pitfalls in the traditional RFP process. The results of these pitfalls can range from months of lost time and effort to hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars. Trinity University, in collaboration with their agency partner, ImageX, has found a way to put web projects on a rocket ship toward success, straight from the get-go: they’ve transformed the traditional Request for Proposal process into a new kind of RFP: a Request for Partnership.

Still Slacking Off (AIM8)

An update to last year's Red Stapler winning presentation: we're still slacking off. In this session we'll explore how Vanderbilt University implemented Slack in their Web Communications office (and other offices around campus), integrated it with their help desk, project management system, and code repositories, and how it completely changed the culture of the office.

Whose Website is it Anyway? (UAD8)

Learn how two University at Buffalo (UB) communications professionals reached across departmental lines in a decentralized graduate admissions environment to collaborate on an integrated and engaging website redesign. The focus of this presentation will be to discuss how we developed a messaging strategy tailored to students rather than internal faculty and staff, and utilized existing resources to improve operations and the overall web user experience at UB. We will also discuss the political and organizational barriers that communications professionals often face while collaborating on university-wide projects and how to overcome them. This session would benefit those who are part of an admissions, marketing, recruitment or student services team who are looking to improve internal and external communication through their website. Learning Outcomes/Objectives: • Identify your primary and secondary website audiences • Auditing existing content based on audience needs • Identifying and reducing internal lingo and industry jargon • Improve user experience through collaboration

Rethink Reuse with Web Components (DPA10)

Enter a world where inline script and style tags are the norm, content areas have a single focus, and the way you look at web development gets turned upside down. We think of web development by units of sites and pages. But then we turn around and style rules for one particular content area on a single page to a site-wide stylesheet! This mode of thinking by nature limits how we can re-use small blocks. Web components provide a way to think smaller. By destructuring a page into self-contained blocks, we can share not just content, but full interactions across widely disparate sites with ease.

How Vassar Home-brewed a Headless CMS (DPA11)

“Headless” or “decoupled” may be buzzwords you’ve heard recently applied to CMSs (Content Management Systems), but the principles they follow and systems they represent are neither fads nor new, and help us solve real-world problems in scalable, maintainable ways. It’s well understood that separation of concerns is a best practice, especially when applied to separating content or structure (HTML) from presentation (CSS)—this same principle applies to a CMS. Learn what a headless CMS is and the benefits of separating the content in a traditional, monolithic CMS from its proprietary HTML templating engine. Learn how we designed our system with facilitating change in mind, and can manage sites that share code, markup, and assets—while allowing for infinite variation at the site level. We employ simplicity, consistency, and principles such as progressive enhancement and individualized design to guide us. Using a server-side templating; centrally controlled server-side SASS compilation; and a headless, push CMS that publishes flat files has helped us achieve more efficient workflows, gain total control over our markup, and nimbly adapt to change.