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South Dakota State University

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CMS Evaluation Criteria

During the process, we set four key criteria to use when evaluating a quality website. 

  • Accessibility — to meet federal standards for individuals with disabilities. Accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the web, and they can contribute to the web. 
  • Mobile —  to meet the increased use of mobile technology. A 2014 survey by salesforce.com showed that 85% of respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life and 90% of those are between the age of 18-24. Currently sdstate.edu is not optimized for a mobile experience.
  • Audience experience — includes prospective students, current students, prospective faculty and stuff, current faculty and staff, researchers, alumni and community members. Our solution must provide the best online experience for all audiences no matter which device (tablet, smart phone, desktop computer or screenreader) is in use. 
  • Editing experience — we have more than 200 content editors responsible for updating their areas of the website. A recent survey of those editors showed that almost 60 percent update their site as needed, every six months or annually. We plan to provide a tool that makes the best use of their limited time and resources for web updates. The survey also showed that editors want more options that are easier to use and provide more flexibility. These include online forms, photo libraries, video embedding, alternate designs and enhanced graphic elements.

Statistical data shows that the public website is one of SDSU's most visual communication and marketing pieces. During the 2013-14 academic year, sdstate.edu received more than 11 million page views. By comparison, a 52-week, $370,000 television campaign on KELO, KSFY, KDLT produces potential impressions of 14.3 million. These are people that choose to come to sdstate.edu, and want an association with the university. Mobile pageviews continue to increase, up to 700,000 page views in 2013-14. This is an increase from 450,000 page views in 2012-13, validating that mobile technology drives web views.