My goal for this project was not simply to give us students a website to showcase out work, but rather to create an overall brand pattern that can be relied upon. The site has a unique visual vernacular that is clean and content driven without dismissing aesthetics. Having a great site is really just the first step for the division, the first visual survey to compile over time and get a sense of who, what, when, where, why at the university design department. This survey will form the next round of improvements.
My goal included establishing commonsense solutions to media hosting as well as site presence, so I made use of multiple solutions that ticked off personally set marketing goals by leveraging technology. Videos are hosted on a branded youtube channel spreading content to the audience beyond the original domain, emails are handled by a google apps for edu system and filtered into the uni email system, design centric mailings and event blasts are generated with mailchimp, and the facebook page is tied into these other services. Google analytics and marketing data is gathered from all visitors to provide a design centric overview of what takes place with the students taking courses at the school, and Slack was installed to allow division specific communication that is quicker and more useful than standard chat logs.
The true focus of the project has been achieved as far as stage one is concerned. This project was a labor of love for me and leveraged multiple relationships and connections to get it off the ground. While I had plenty of other work to get done in my time at university, setting up an integrated and comprehensive web presence for the division is the first step to gaining notoriety for my fellow graduates, the institution, and the hardworking faculty who gave so much to me during my time there.
Under the guidance of faculty, this student project has new legs and provides an educational service to emerging designers in an ongoing fashion. Students are selected to operate the site, generate content and news articles, cover the general happenings of division and their classmates, photograph their projects and events, and promote and brand content in perpetuity. I can tell you this is a relief as prior to the student involvment I personally took every photo, wrote every piece of content, entered all content, designed the site, built the external services, signed up for and launched every page you can think of and branded all assets for the love of the game.
In today's design field designers can't be in the dark about the new basics like preparing files for web, accurate sizing of images and light weight file prep. They need to understand why certain language is used when writing content as keywords inform the marketing campaigns as much as the print ads. Language, both written and visual, is in a way the new holistic form of digital design as we move from aesthetic activators to content generators. Creating meaningless, pointless content will never do for design. I believe placing a designer in the drivers seat allows them to generate meaningful design work, compelling language, properly built and optimized delivery and execute launch of said system with professionalism and accuracy. The business world will find these skills valuable, to me they are the bar for entry and intellectually compelling. Designers at the helm with a seat by marketing, copywriting, photography, UI/UX, print, you name it. That's good by design.
Theme generated from scratch, all code and dev by Rami Hassan.
Thanks for looking!