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University Communications & Marketing has been working on creating the first drafts of the template design that all sites will follow for non-academic entities, academic entities, and the main USF site. Meetings have been conducted with a few small departments to present the preliminary template design resulting in positive feedback. UCM will continue designing templates which will then be formally presented to larger groups once more details of the CMS vendor have been determined.
Although the CMS demos have been completed, the formal process of selecting a vendor has just begun. UCM, IT, and Purchasing have been working together to finalize the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) document to post for vendors. The ITN is a mandatory process that must be done in order to procure a CMS vendor. The ITN document provides information to the vendors on requirements and asks them to provide the best solution for our needs. This process also allows the Selection Committee to review proposals that all have consistent formatting making it more efficient to evaluate.
The initial timeline for the ITN process is as follows:
- March 6: ITN release
- March 16: Vendor questions due
- March 23: USF responses due
- April 2: Proposal deadline
- Mid April: Evaluations complete and Presentations
- May 7: Bid awarded
Once a CMS vendor has been chosen, details will be worked out on implementation timelines and procedures. At that point, a tentative production schedule that details the order in which university colleges and divisions will move into the new content management system will be created.
Concurrently with the ITN process, UCM and IT will be building a test site to allow for usability testing. The testing and evaluation will give the team direct input from our target audience on how real users will use and navigate through the site. Testing will consist of creating five to ten scenarios for the participants to follow. The user’s process will be observed and they will be asked to complete an exit survey on how they feel the site performs. This is tentatively scheduled for mid April to allow students to participate before final exams.