In the summer of 2013 I decided to approach the Dean of the School of Medicine with a redesign proposal for the website which had not been updated since 2008. Starting with research to see where we were, I decided to begin assembling a design proposal for the school. This proposal would contain a synopsis of our traffic reports, a detailed survey of our peer institutions, and an in depth analysis of our current problems. The report laid out a plan of action backup up with researched proof and was meant to convince the Dean of the need for action. I even included a timeline for the project defining the estimated time frame for each phase.
With the finished report in the hands of the client, the school was on board from the start. I was appointed the position of Director for the School of Medicine Redesign Project by the Dean and delegated the influence necessary to accomplish the task. A new communications specialist hire from the Dean's office (Mrs. Tara Scatterday) would be the first member of the School of Medicine Redesign Team and one of my most invested partners in the project.
The next nine months would see some the greatest transformation for the school as all of the old content was revised or removed. The content strategy for the school was used to place the information of the identified target audiences in a logical order. We chose to abandon the secondary navigation for the School of Medicine root since the streamlined structure negated such a redundancy.
I worked on the design portion of the project, creating many variations for the new design in the process. Slowly it took on the image I envisioned and I began to gather critique from fellow designers to push it further along. Eventually I was given the green light from the main campus WVU Web Services, Marketing, and the various stake holders to proceed with the build stage. I was able to code the website to be completely responsive and accessible, bringing the best of modern design principals to our school. The finished functionality would bring us ahead of our peers and also serve to establish a new web presence for the school. Some noteworthy additional areas were the hand coded interactive timeline for the school's history and the resurrected Health Sciences Center Pylon History section, compiled from research information from the annual yearbook "Pylons".
Tara and I continued the process of content restructuring, while the design coding was taking form. I assumed the role of reaching out to the various department chairs of the school to gather the needed information that the root pages were lacking. We set up weekly meeting schedule to address the business issues of the school and lay sections of the school into place.
After all was said and done, Tara and I presented the finished project to the Dean and the stake holders. The Dean was pleased and gave the green light to launch the website. The end result was a finished project that launched on May 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. I was asked to continue my appointed position by the Dean to ensure the second and third phases of the project, target audience areas and departments, were completed in a similar fashion.