Powering the Brand: Trine University’s Successful Redesign
Increase in target traffic with “Majors and Degrees” the most visited page, followed by “Undergraduate Admissions"
Decentralized work load that connects everyone across the Trine University campus
A customizable CMS that is adaptable to Trine’s unique needs and puts Trine in control of their brand
In 2012-2013, Trine University underwent a major website redesign, which prompted the purchase and implementation of a new web content management system (CMS). “The university had been using Dreamweaver and Contribute,” remembered Deborah Richard, Director of Digital Marketing at Trine. “It was tough to maintain links, and we had to funnel all of our content through a few people, which created bottlenecks. But you don’t know what you don’t know—meaning that until we shopped around, we had no idea what a content management system like OU Campus could do—much less that it could solve many of our problems.”
Located in Angola, Indiana, Trine University is one of the fastest growing universities in the state with record growth over the past several years. Spread across 450 acres, Trine is home to over 5,000 students and offers 34 majors.
Until we shopped around, we had no idea what a content management system like OU Campus could do—much less that it could solve many of our problems.Deborah Richard, Director of Digital Marketing, Trine University
The university issued a request for proposal, ultimately choosing OU Campus as their new CMS. OU Campus modernized the way Trine managed multiple sites across campus and made it easier for contributors to add and update content. “I cannot believe that we managed an entire website without a CMS—there’s so much you can’t do without it,” Deborah said.
Fast-forward 3 years to 2016, when Trine initiated a second major redesign. This time around, the directive was to create a website that appealed to the tech-savvy generation of students Trine was trying to attract. It was also important to address Trine’s unique market position as a university with 99% job placement.
Working with Stamats, an OmniUpdate partner, the Trine team scrapped the existing dark and dreary color scheme for a bright, fresh new look. They organized content in easy-to-find sections accessed through tabs and boxes on the home page. They also emphasized the benefits of attending the university with a bold headline inviting prospective traditional students to discover what makes Trine unique. For their secondary market, online and adult learners, they created a separate, easy-to-find navigation with information they need to apply.
In all, the redesign took 12 months to design, implement, and launch, a process made easier by having OU Campus in place from the start. “I can’t imagine doing a redesign without starting with a CMS,” Deborah said. “OU Campus is designed to make my life easier. Plus there are lots of little extras that make it unique and special. The gadgets are timesavers and make me so much more efficient. I’m not a developer, but even I can use these tools to make major web changes—all from one place in the CMS.”
As the new design went live in 2017, content contributors campus-wide were literally on the same page—thanks to the CMS. “OU Campus connects everyone,” said Deborah. “It decentralizes the workload and makes it easier to update content on the site.”
In addition to revamping the site’s design, Deborah capitalized on the process by rethinking the site’s information architecture and reorganizing content into a logical flow. “The Binary Management tool in OU Campus alone saved us hours of time—I can’t even quantify it,” said Deborah. “It gave us the flexibility to move things around easily and without creating broken links.”
Deborah also took advantage of the Notes Gadget in OU Campus. “Being able to write notes directly on the page and access a page’s history is invaluable,” Deborah declared. “It lets me explain what I did to a page. I may not be here forever, so this type of information is very helpful to future users.”
With the new website complete and online, Trine’s content contributors are empowered to make changes as needed to the site without Deborah having to worry that design consistency will be compromised. “The joy of a CMS is giving people access only to the content areas we want them to be able to change,” Deborah said. “With OU Campus, I know that our contributors can’t do anything to break the foundation of the website. It’s also a 'selling point' when I train new users that helps them feel more comfortable when editing pages.”
With OU Campus, I know that our contributors can’t do anything to break the foundation of the website. It’s also a 'selling point' when I train new users that helps them feel more comfortable when editing pages.Deborah Richard, Director of Digital Marketing, Trine University
Above all, Deborah said that “having a CMS puts us in control of our brand, saves us time, and empowers our employees to take ownership and make changes to their pages when they want to—without waiting to funnel them through to someone. I love OU Campus!”
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