University of Northern Iowa Releases New Website Developed by Promet Source

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The University's new site built on Drupal 7 allows them to provide a responsive, dynamic resource for its college community.

“Our new site went live this morning at So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive,”

Delivering a site that focused on prospective students more than the school’s previous sites was an important project requirement for UNI. Promet Source completed development on the site in time for the University to present a unified, modern image at the height of the college application season.

“Our new site went live this morning at So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said DeWayne Purdy, UNI’s Electronic Communications Manager. “I haven't had any of the ‘I hate it’ emails that we usually get when you make a website change on a college campus.”

In addition to attracting prospective students, UNI’s current students, faculty, and staff will benefit from the new system. One of the advantages of Drupal 7.0 CMS is that non-technical staff can manage their own content. With Promet developed admin manuals for department staff, UNI can now maintain its Current Students and Faculty/Staff pages as up-to-date, useful resource tools. University Relations marketing and PR staff contributed content during development and are already more actively engaged in updating their pages on the Promet developed system than they had been with previous Drupal sites. UNI also plans to integrate site content with weekly e-newsletters to faculty, staff, and students.

To further enhance the management benefits of this site, Promet collaborated with UNI to develop a custom admin dashboard, that provides the ability to schedule events, ads and various content types for the website. With continual feedback from the university staff, Promet was able to understand the site management pain points and difficulty with manually managing the overlapping scheduling of events, and turn the needs into a workable solution. Described by the client as “something like a TV guide, but for our events”, Promet created a dynamic dashboard tied to the sites various features that allows for advanced management and scheduling by various parties. Among many features like zoom scalability, the dashboard denotes published vs. unpublished content, directly links to editing the scheduled events, and shows a layered daily timeline of when each event is running.

UNI, which is a strong supporter of Open Source software, contracted with Promet Source, in part, because of the Chicago-based firm’s recognized expertise in Drupal Omega theming. Utilizing the Omega Drupal 7.0 Base Theme offered the ideal development options for integrating the diverse interests and missions of an array of university departments and student organizations. Use of the Omega Theme and its flexibility in full-site configurations will enable Promet to create subthemes for UNI in upcoming project. The Omega subthemes will allow for a variety of layouts and settings on different portions of a website—the ideal option for a university website that requires a consistent image but also must respond to the needs vastly different departments and organizations.

Bringing all of UNI’s department and student activity sites under one Drupal theme helps the university promote a cohesive brand and significantly improves the user experience. Promet trained campus IT staff on internal site management in order for the university to migrate pre-existing Drupal 6.0 and disparate HTML department and activity sites to the University’s new system.

To successfully project manage a short timeframe for such a large, complex site, Promet used an Agile Sprint 0 approach to plan and execute the development and theming processes and handle such challenges as third-party client sites.


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Phil Vickman
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