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col·lab·o·ra·tion | kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n
the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

In the spring of 2019, a group was formed that brought together communications, marketing, and technical people across campus to provide operational guidance and recommendations.  The group adopted the name Illinois Web Advisory Group (IWAG) and has come together to discuss creating common practices, new branding efforts, and other topics around content and constructs of campus websites.  As the technical aspects of implementing aspects of these best practices have grown in importance, a new group was formed to focus on the technical implementation aspects of websites.  The new group is the Website Implementation Guidelines Group (WIGG).

Purpose

The Website Implementation Guidelines Group will be focused on creating and encouraging cross-campus communities of practice, establishing best practices for public-facing websites, and communicating these best practices to the campus community at large.  The group will report to both the IWAG and the IT Council due to the dual nature of websites in general as they combine technical implementation with the task of promoting the message and brand of the campus.

Structure

The Website Implementation Guidelines Group will consist of a small core membership and a collection of larger working groups that will create the deliverables.  Suggested working groups are listed below, but the actual groups will change in response to community needs.  The core group members will set goals for the group as a whole and facilitate the creation and maintenance of the working groups.  The core membership will also communicate the outcomes to IT Council and IWAG on a quarterly basis.

  • Design Group – non-CMS specific design pattern solutions
  • Web Components – non-CMS specific solutions
  • CMS – WordPress – Theme and plugin implementation in WordPress
  • CMS – Drupal – Theme and plugin implementation in Drupal

Deliverables

  • Release public code repositories that facilitate the implementation of campus branding guidelines on any web platform using web components and/or HTML/CSS standards.
  • Establish a common codebase for WordPress and Drupal that can be used by any unit on campus and integrate with existing campus systems.
  • Integrate the first two deliverables into campus hosting options for easy deployment.
  • Create a university community(s) for ongoing discussion of topics related to implementing web best practices and facilitate discussion there.

Membership composition

The membership of working groups will be open to those in the campus community with expertise in the specific topic area.  Each working group will be facilitated by a core member of the group.  The core membership of this group will consist of individuals recommended by representatives of the IT Council and IWAG and will serve a term of one year.  A chair will serve over this group and be responsible for setting the agenda and facilitating the regular meetings of the group in a collaborative manner.

Steering Committee

  • Nate Baxley, LAS (chair)
  • Cordelia Geiken, Tech Services
  • Laura Hayden, Grainger
  • Matt Sharkey, Strategic Marketing & Branding
  • Melissa Waller, ACES

Presentations

Cross-Unit Collaborations — When things just have to get done
IT Proforum, June 3, 2021
There are many great committees and groups on campus that have been formed with formal charters and pre-negotiated deliverables. However, sometimes you need to bring people together quickly to work on a problem and create a solution. The Web Implementation Guidelines Group (WIGG) is a group that was formed completely organically and has now helped release a consistent website design template with implementations in several CMS across the campus. Hear how this collaboration came about, how it has been successful, what lessons you can learn from our experience and how you can become a part of our work.

Delivering Consistent Web Design Templates Across Multiple Platforms
IT Proforum, June 3, 2021
There are a large variety of web publishing situations across campus today. With the push from the Chancellor last year to adopt the new branding standards, many units are searching for a way to bring their websites into compliance. The WIGG efforts have created branded themes for WordPress and Drupal and made those available to anyone who wants them. We have also created web components that can be used on any web publishing platform. Hear about how these tools were created, what features they offer, and how you can get involved in the effort to continue to improve them.