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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Headlines (Campus Updates)


Laurier selects creative strategy firm mStoner to develop new website

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Feb 3/14

Following a request for proposal review process, Wilfrid Laurier University has selected mStoner to design the public face of the university’s new website. mStoner is a web strategy and design firm that works exclusively in the postsecondary sector. The firm will complete a full website redesign using Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server as the content management system (CMS), to be rolled out in stages beginning in mid-to-late fall 2014.

mStoner assisted Laurier with the first phase of the university’s website renewal process, which began in late 2012. This research phase, during which widespread consultation occurred with members of the Laurier community, informed the development of a web strategy. Laurier then established CMS requirements based on the web strategy document. After reviewing proposals from a number of companies, Laurier selected Hannon Hill Cascade Server as the CMS of choice. The CMS is the framework of the website and the system that administrators will use to upload content.

Laurier’s Department of Communications, Public Affairs Marketing (CPAM) has also hired a new web manager, Heidi Maissan, to oversee the design, implementation and management of the new website. Prior to her role at Laurier, Maissan was the manager for digital strategy at Manulife Financial, where she worked collaboratively with marketing and IT to manage a number of complex consumer and advisor websites. Maissan has also worked in a variety of roles with a digital communications focus, and has experience with responsive mobile websites and apps.

“The website is an integral part of telling the Laurier story, and it’s how the university makes its first impression,” said Maissan. “We are very excited to develop a new website that not only features the latest in design and functionality, but that also reflects the university’s visual identity and culture.”

Maissan joins a core website team that includes Andres Diaz, senior project lead, Nela Petkovic, director, ICT projects and process management, Tom Buckley, assistant vice-president, academic services, Helen Exley, associate director, marketing and creative services, and Kevin Crowley, acting assistant vice-president, CPAM. Three additional web-focused positions in CPAM have been approved and will be filled in the coming months. Information Technology Services (ITS) will be hiring a web developer, as well as CMS and portal administrators.

The core web team will work with mStoner and team members from ITS and CPAM to build Laurier’s new website. The building process consists of three phases:

  1. Strategy Phase (Winter-Spring 2014): Components of this phase include planning the site’s navigation, marketing and communications strategy, and governance structure.
  2. Creative Phase (Winter-Summer 2014): Components of the creative phase include designing web page concepts and prototypes, creating a suite of web page templates, auditing the current website’s content and developing new content. 
  3. Implementation Phase (Summer-Fall 2014): Components of this phase include building and implementing the design of the new CMS using Cascade Server, creating and uploading content, and usability testing.

Working with the core web team, departments and faculties will be asked to create an inventory and evaluate existing content as well as determine what additional content needs to be generated for the implementation phase. Due to the immense amount of data that will need to be created and added to the new CMS, the implementation phase will occur in stages.

The web steering committee, which has been involved in each phase of the project to date, will continue to liaise with and represent each faculty and department as the project proceeds.

Stay tuned to for news and updates.


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