Upcoming Transition from Roxen to OU Campus
The Office of Information Technology is replacing the web content management system Roxen with OU Campus at UAF and UA Statewide. Migration of websites from Roxen to OU Campus started this summer.
OU Campus is used by nearly 300 colleges and universities. It is designed specifically for higher education and features:
- Scalable multi-website management
- Easy-to-use editing tools
- Advanced features for a variety of layout presentations
- Customizable workflows for content updates and approvals
- Built-in checkers for accessibility and web-code errors
- Social media integration
- Comprehensive customer training and support
Templates designed for the new OU Campus system have seven UAF-branded themes (see selected design theme examples) as well as a UA Statewide theme. The new system also features a number of advanced layouts and features based on current website design trends as well as feedback from university web designers including:
- New templates for
- News articles
- Events articles
- Image galleries with modal pop-ups for images
- Image and video-enabled carousels
- Quote/testimonial carousels
- More flexible designs possible without hand-coding including:
- Tabbed content
- Card-style layouts
- Full-width sections
- Better RSS feed displays
UPDATE Aug. 10, 2018
What’s the status of the transition to OU Campus?
OIT and the OU Campus developers continue to fine-tune the automated process which will transfer the Roxen webpages to OU Campus. A good process is important to deliver a good product and ensure that Roxen webpages display in OU Campus as expected with as little clean-up as possible. This has taken longer than originally planned due to differences between the two platform frameworks, and also due to the inconsistent branding and styles across the UAF web presence. Each webpage must be migrated from the old platform to the new platform. When a standard template is used with consistent design styles and branding, a content migration can take place more quickly.
When will OU Campus be ready?
OU Campus websites for both UAF and UA Statewide begin launching by the start of the fall semester, with more being launched gradually over the course of the semester. The OIT Service Desk will contact Roxen website managers on a site-by-site basis over the course of the fall semester when they’re ready to migrate their website to OU Campus. Roxen websites will remain available until their website managers have reviewed and approved the OU Campus versions to launch. If you’re interested in self-migrating or developing a new OU Campus website now, you can contact the OIT Service Desk.
When will training be available?
Blackboard Learn training will be available by the Aug. 27, 2018, and in-person training will be available soon after. Additionally, OIT plans to provide a workshop demo of OU Campus in early September. OIT will provide access to an OU Campus test environment for users and developers to experiment with in early September as well.
OU Campus Migration FAQ
Why is this happening?
In response to frequent stakeholder inquiries regarding Roxen, OIT conducted research in 2017 on the effectiveness of UAF and Statewide's web presence, and identified trends and common problems that affect the user experience and engagement of visitors to include prospective students.
Research methods included capturing user behavior through heat maps and screen recordings that identify the location and frequency of mouse clicks on a given web page. Additionally, OIT used Google Analytics to understand visitor engagement, identify top content and evaluate site performance, as well as collected feedback over a number of years regarding Roxen. Some of the key findings were:
- UA and UAF websites lack visual and functional consistency
- Web content is not up to date and is not consistent
- Web content is out of compliance with accessibility standards due to lack of accessibility checking tools
- Visitors abandon current websites before reaching their desired destination
- Improvements to design and functionality are needed to increase performance
- Roxen is not widely used with higher ed
- Roxen has a high learning curve and is not intuitive or user friendly
Some of the recommendations as a result of the analysis are:
- Require university-related websites to use branded and specialized templates. As a result, website visitors will be able to navigate more easily and find the information they’re looking for.
- Educate site owners and content creators to provide visually consistent content and why consistency matters to the user experience.
- Provide site owners with data and enable them to do their own user research to optimally organize their web content.
- Provide a user-friendly web content management system which encourages consistency at an enterprise level and allows for simpler and faster updates.
In addition to the research, in May 2017, OIT invited Roxen users to an OU Campus demo and Q&A forum to give feedback on Roxen and migration to OU Campus. In November of 2017, UAF and Statewide selected OU Campus to replace Roxen. An overview of new template designs and OU Campus functionality were shared with key stakeholders in spring 2018 for feedback.
When will my site be migrated?
Roxen websites will be automatically migrated to OU Campus started this summer. Roxen website owners will be contacted by OIT on a site-by-site basis to review the OU Campus version of their website and address any critical changes prior to the new OU Campus version being launched. Your Roxen website will remain live until you approve the OU Campus version to go live, however, any changes made to the Roxen website during the review period will need to be reconciled on the OU Campus system separately. If you would like to have your website migrated sooner, contact the OIT service desk.
What if I’m off contract when my website is migrated?
The Roxen websites will remain live until the site owner validates the OU Campus version and approves it to go live. The deadline for this will extend into the fall semester to ensure those who go off-contract have the opportunity to complete this validation.
What do Roxen users need to do once their website is migrated to OU Campus?
OIT expects that most of the Roxen content will be the same in OU Campus, however, there will be some content that will need to be modified or cleaned up in the new system, depending on the complexity and uniqueness of the site. OIT and University Relations will be available to assist site owners with this cleanup.
Will there be OU Campus training?
Will I be allowed to customize my website’s design?
Users are strongly encouraged to use the branded templates. Customized template designs are no longer offered by UAF University Relations or OIT. Research shows that consistent visual design is best practice because it leads users to feel familiar and comfortable with a website, making it user-friendly and helps them get to their desired destination. It is expected from a modern university and is important to the prospective student experience. Lack of website consistency makes users relearn how to navigate web pages from department to department, creates confusion and is time-intensive. Users who abandon the website search in frustration often do not return.
Why is using this platform a good idea?
Having a well organized and branded website has many advantages.
- Transitioning to OU Campus and using the new templates will present UA and UAF websites as well organized and branded as is expected from a modern university.
- As the number one marketing and recruitment tool for students, faculty and staff, the university’s new templates and overall design will make it easier for users to find what they are looking for.
- Creation of a website on OU Campus through OIT is free. Units that maintain content management systems outside of OIT's central control face additional costs for hosting, domain names, administration, security, inclusion in UA's Google Search Appliance, and risk a lack of support during times of staff transition.
- OU Campus’ allows users to easily edit content on the page. Ease of editing can help keep UA and UAF’s web presences up-to-date.
- New features make it easier for anyone to present content in advanced layouts without hand-coding
- The new OU Campus templates meet required ADA compliance standards, as well as contain all disclaimers required by federal law. Units that host sites outside OU Campus will be responsible for meeting all compliance and ADA standards on their own.
Where do I go for more information?
If you have questions, or would like to to know more about migrating an existing UAF website to this new platform, please contact the OIT Service Desk via http://alaska.edu/oit/get-help/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.