Department of Political Science launches website
Our work with the Department of Political Science has truly been a pleasure. They’ve been extremely organized and were very invested in building out an informative and useful website for their department.
We worked primarily with associate professors Cindy Kam, Josh Clinton and Elizabeth Zechmeister.
One thing I appreciated most about working with PSCI: they didn’t want to just take the existing content and put it in a new look. They took advantage of this opportunity to do a full content inventory — look at what they already had, versus what they needed and what their users were looking for. We started with an outline for the different sections of their site — and then filled them out section by section with content. They would send us a zip file every day or so with all of the content for a section of the site in fresh, clean, edited docs. Ah … I do love an organized client (even if track changes in word does drive us all a little bonkers!)
PSCI is using a google calendar for their events… with multiple people in the department having access to add and update events. Users can subscribe to the google calendar, invite people to events, etc. We pull the feed into the right column for an ‘Upcoming Events’ list – and use the google embed code on the calendar page to show the nice grid monthly display.
When we first started building out the people section — we manually created a few of the faculty profiles — and then realized that we would be doing that for days since every single graduate student also had a profile. So we moved away from individual files – and instead put all the faculty and graduate student information into a database. Then we just have two templates to worry about — the profile page — and the listing pages. With a series of if/then statements — we can build out all the faculty, graduate student, administration, affiliates profiles — in just one file. So much simpler and way more efficient than building those out individually (and thank goodness we did this — by the time we finished the people section — we had over 100 profiles and 20 listing pages!) The listing pages are super simple — we just filter by the audience variable — and we can easily list, for example, all the grad students and faculty who work with LAPOP, or al the grad students who are focusing on Comparative Politics. Again – with one template file. Awesomeness. I do love efficient code.
We had a training session with Cindy, Josh, Elizabeth and several from the administration team in PSCI. They’ll be updating their site in Omni and whistling a happy tune while doing so :)
This is the fourth site we’ve worked on with PSCI … we’ve also built out the websites for: