Transform the Trivial: Reasons to cut basic tech support from your "to do" list
Addressing the issues of an academic website is not always a matter of man-hours or system enhancements; sometimes all a site needs to thrive is a shift in philosophy. Over the past year, the McCombs web team created a leaner, easier-to-navigate site not by employing new technology, but by removing themselves from outdated roles. The changes in the website’s functionality and usability corresponded with several self-imposed shifts in the web team’s job description:
• Remove web team’s role in basic CMS training
• Place responsibility of creating high-quality content on the users
• Focus web team efforts on technical innovation rather than basic updates and maintenance
• Brand web team as consultants rather than support staff
• Encourage users to teach themselves the basics, and encourage users to help other users
In our presentation, we’ll show how a group of 5 individuals on the first floor (read: basement) of The University of Texas at Austin’s business school--within a single year and without additional funding--was able to:
• Dramatically enhance their site’s user experience
• Increase the web-savvy of students, faculty, and staff
• Eliminate bottlenecks in workflow
• Become a model for other schools within the UT system.
We’ll also illustrate how others can achieve similar results simply by redefining what a “web team” does and doesn’t do.
Web Team Manager, University of Texas at Austin
Jennifer Chance is the Web team manager for the McCombs School of Business and is a graduate of the Austin Peay State University (’02). Before joining McCombs and becoming a University of Texas staff member, Chance spent nearly a decade in software development and has worked for a number of high-profile employers—most notably, NASA.
Technology Coordinator, University of Texas at Austin
Mark Foster is the Technology Coordinator for the McCombs Web Team. He is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and has been working at the University of Texas business school for 5 years. Foster has given presentations before a number of audiences—most recently the Texas State Senate.