Welcome to the UTMB Web Blog

Contribute to the Conversation

This tool is user maintained and supported. Have some talent or experience to share? We’d love to hear about it. To become a content contributor, contact pvaldes@utmb.edu.

UTMB Web Developer Resources

A site inventory, templates, tools, documentation and more are available to the UTMB web development community at http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/.

What is the 2015 Web Reboot and how will we learn about it?

Led by the ITC, the “Web Reboot” is a multifaceted plan consisting of revamped tools, resources, training and policies designed to elevate and enhance UTMB’s Internet presence. At the heart of the project is an approach that emphasizes collaboration, coordination and shared governance to introduce new efficiencies to the institution’s web development teams, and a better, higher-quality experience for the users of UTMB’s web sites.

A communication plan maps out the strategies to share the plan, introduce the tools and new policies, and engage participants.

Communication about the Web Reboot will target three primary audiences:

1)      Leadership, Managers: Will be offered a high-level overview emphasizing the objectives, strategies and capabilities of the project and its components, the opportunities and potential impact on their respective areas. Will be asked for input, and asked to support implementation. (Mike King and Pep Valdes)

2)      Web Designers, Authors and Content Contributors: Same as above, although this group will also be shown the actual tools in action, be invited to test and use them, and will be the subjects of more focused and targeted outreach and training around the tools and changes. (Multiple members of the ITC, coordinated by Pep Valdes and Matt Havard)

3)    Web Developers and Programmers: This group will plan and develop the “back end”: they will install and implement the tools, develop the programming to create functionality, develop modules to be shared with designers, authors and contributors. They will also maintain code and set and maintain programming/development standards. (Mike Cooper, Mark Schultze)    

Timeline

Communication about the Web Reboot will take place throughout 2015, starting with leadership and managers. (Jan. – Mar. 2015). Communication to our other two key audiences (designers, authors and content contributors plus web developers and programmers) began in February 2015 and follow parallel, continuous tracks. The bulk of the detailed communication and messaging will be in place and launch by spring 2015, with the implementation/adoption of many the key “Web Reboot” tools, templates and guidelines under way by December 2015.

What is this “ITC”?

People at large organizations like UTMB love acronyms; for the past couple of years a new one has been circulating, and it’s likely you’ve not heard it. The “ITC” is UTMB’s “Internet Technology Commitee.” It’s a small group set up in 2012 by the former CIO Ralph Farr and the current CIO Todd Leach (who was second in command at the time). The charge is set out in the group’s charter:    

The ITC is charged with providing strategic alignment with institutional priorities and establishing the policies and guidelines that the university will abide by when developing and updating content targeting patients, students, employees, alumni, donors and other constituents.

This group will ensure there is consistency across mission areas in branding and functionality. Examples of issues and technologies that the ITC will provide guidance on include online branding, web sites, social media, and mobile/tablet device delivery.

The standing members of the group are below, they are frequently joined by others who contribute specific expertise, insights or perspective on different topics: 

  • Tonya R. Broussard, Business and Finance
  • Matt Havard, Information Services/B&F
  • Mike J. King, Information Services/B&F
  • Dr. Chris Edwards, Health System
  • Mary Feldhusen, Health System
  • Tim Hilt, Nursing Service/Health System
  • Cindy Ferris, SON/Provost
  • Mary Jo Singleton, Provost
  • Mark Schultze, Provost
  • Dr. Lindsay Sonstein, SOM/Provost
  • Mike Cooper, Marketing & Communications
  • Pep Valdes, Marketing & Communications

A look back and a look ahead

There’s some rumbling underfoot in the UTMB Web World, and it’s not the “Big Dig” that has streets torn up around campus for the work on utilities and infrastructure. We (Internet Technology Committee) have been working quietly but steadily in the background, assessing tools, acquiring new capabilities, building the digital web equivalent of the robust infrastructure that the construction teams are burying under campus. Many of you have seen or heard about bits and pieces of it: mobile templates, inventory tool, site checking capabilities, image library, a new CMS. Now it’s almost time to reveal the entire package. While we can’t squeeze it all in a single post, we can share an infographic that summarizes 2014 and lays the groundwork for 2015 and beyond.

ITC Web Update and Goals
ITC Web Update and Goals

Congratulations to UTMB’s 2014 MCPs!

MCSD1
Pictured L to R: (back row) Roger Cooley, John Gibson, Toby Smith, Michael Seymour, T. Mathew, Chris King, Gary Cowan, Lance Hoang, Mike Cooper (front row) Anirban Chakrabarty, Ashley West, Alan Tang, Mark Thompson, Prasanth Manukonda, Jim Koppe, Titus Wiggins (not pictured) Nancy Stokes

Congratulations and great job to all of the UTMB web developers who earned their MCP certification by completing the grueling two week MCSD boot camp training course and exams. We know it was two solid weeks of long days, hard work and a lot of very strong, black coffee. Great work, all! And a special round of thanks to our gracious hosts, MCSD trainer, Alan Tang and CTREC/Hilton. Go Red Team!

 

We’re ready to run a report for you

Last November we started testing and piloting a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. It also has a nifty inventory feature that lists the number and types of pages, types of files, problematic content. During testing, we used the tool aggressively on UTMBHealth.com (our patient portal); more recently we’ve begun targeting our edu sites. Developers in our schools were also among our initial group of testers, and some other high profiles sites such as IHOP were in the first round.

The consensus: we like the tool, it’s proven useful. We still have a lot of work to do to address all the issues. But as we do, we’re also ready to help you with your sites by running some reports for the resources you manage. If you have a public facing site (not on our intranet and not a blog or business app on a dedicated server like MyChart), we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. If that’s not enough, we can get you access to an online dashboard.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s very gratifying to watch the reported errors drop. One little glitch in your navigation or a relocated/missing document in a shared footer can generate a lot of errors.

To request this service, contact Melissa Harman or Pep Valdes with your directories or sites to be scanned.

A recent screen capture of a UTMBHealth.com report
A recent screen capture of a UTMBHealth.com report

Feeling inundated?

Back in 2009, Bits (the NY Times technology blog) posted a story based on a study done at UC San Diego. In a nutshell, it said:

the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. (Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is only 460,000 words long.) This doesn’t mean we read 100,000 words a day — it means that 100,000 words cross our eyes and ears in a single 24-hour period. That information comes through various channels, including the television, radio, the Web, text messages and video games.

This was data from 2008. The iPhone arrived in 2007. It was 2010 before the first iPad hit the scene, followed by a proliferation of other tablets. I wonder what the numbers would look like today?

Read the full article

New responsive web templates now available

ModernWebTemplates

New institutional web templates have now been released. The templates are responsive; they are designed to work well across a wide array of devices, and take a “mobile first” approach to content delivery. While the new templates look similar to current designs (evolution vs. revolution), they function in a totally different way. We encourage you to visit the templates site and explore what’s available. (For best experience, visit with FireFox or similar modern browser. Templates are designed to degrade gracefully for older versions of IE. )

View templates and info: http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/templates/
Project contacts: Mike Cooper mgcooper@utmb.edu, Toby Smith tlsmith@UTMB.EDU

Site Check: testing for quality, broken links, spelling

We have been testing a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. We’ve found it to be very useful during our pilot on utmbhealth.com. For those being scanned in the public utmb.edu domain, we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. To request this service, contact us with your directories or sites to be scanned.

Overview: http://siteimprove.com/
Project  contacts:  Melissa Harman msharman@utmb.edu, Pep Valdes pvaldes@utmb.edu

Inventory Tool now being populated, used

SiteInventoryTool

As part of a larger initiative to update UTMB’s overall web presence, a new digital site inventory is now available. It will be shared with the entire UTMB community. As a developer, you can do a quick search under the “Site Manager” field for all the web resources currently associated with your name. You can log into the site (standard UTMB username and PW) to see additional details, and to add or make updates to the information associated with your resources. This tool is being launched with the information currently available, but we need your help to fill in or correct many gaps. If you have problems or need additional permissions, contact one of the team members below.

Site link: http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/sites/
Project contacts: Mike Cooper mgcooper@utmb.edu, Pep Valdes pvaldes@utmb.edu, Toby Smith tlsmith@UTMB.EDU, Myra McCollum mmccollu@utmb.edu (social media projects), Melissa Harman msharman@utmb.edu

What’s in the works?

There’s a great deal of additional work taking place at UTMB Health that will support developers in their web roles in the coming months. A review of the UTMB Identity System is planned; we are actively seeking a digital asset management tool (that will facilitate an image library); there’s an ongoing review of new content management systems and forms creation tools; new branded and responsive blog templates are being developed. New or additional video hosting options are being explored, and discussions have begun about a new centralized physician/provider database. We always invite your questions, ideas and participation.