Benefits of AHC web system

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As part of the Academic Health Center (AHC), you have access to the core tools needed to have a web presence at no cost. Being part of the AHC web support system has numerous benefits for efficiency and quality—outlined below—including cost savings, policy compliance, technical and process support, and assistance with producing a quality product relevant to your audiences.

Units who create a web presence outside of the AHC system will not receive support. Read more about web policies and procedures.

If you have any questions or are considering what’s next for your web presence, please contact us to consult on your needs at ahcweb@umn.edu.

#1 benefit: Create a web presence that helps you accomplish what you need to do

Your unit has a purpose. You need a home base on the web, to reach your audiences with timely, important information. For people to find you and apply to your programs, register for your events, find out about your research, and much, much more. How can anyone not be on the web?

That's why the AHC web team is here. We are a team of web professionals who provide what's needed to have a web presence, and giving you access to edit and manage your content. We partner with you to create an effective solution, whether it's for a new web presence or a new feature on a current site. We partner for strong results, drawing from our years of experience and expertise in this area and your knowledge of your audiences, goals, and content.

And it's not trapped in time. We continue to evolve, innovate, initiate, and respond to needs that arise for AHC groups and changing trends and best practices in the field of web communications and technology.

Cost benefits

  • Cost savings inherent in being part of the shared services for the Academic Health Center, such as support from the central team of web professionals in the Academic Health Center Office of Communications
  • No cost for hosting, content management system, and the baseline provided for web design and functionality, training, resources, search analytics, and process guidance
  • Ability to leverage current staff for efficiency — content updating/website management can be done by non-technically specialized staff who have other duties in the unit

Policy benefits

  • Assurance of following University policy and standards for the web, including accessibility, brand policy, and security. University policy and standards are available on the Our Brand website.
  • Assurance that website hosting and technical infrastructure does not violate HIPAA and other considerations specific to the Academic Health Center

Technical benefits

  • Web hosting, which includes technical support when issues arise with the website
  • Regular maintenance to the content management system including regular updates
  • Access to search analytics, which are automatically included in web theme
  • New features and functionality developed over time. For example, this could include incorporation of feeds such as content that have tags relevant to your specific unit, such as a feed of stories from the Health Talk blog.
  • Works on mobile and other devices—our sites use responsive design, meaning they will adapt to new technology and screen sizes

Process benefits

  • Use of the AHC Bios System for shared bios—enter once, appear multiple places
  • Continuity in ability for a unit to update their web presence
  • Web process support including project management, planning the site information architecture, navigation, content strategy, URL redirects, and tools and prompts to help manage the revised site. More details of our current web process.
  • Ease of use for non-technical content contributors—the content management system (CMS) uses a WYSIWYG editing tool, similar to Microsoft Word and familiar programs. Knowledge of HTML and other web programming skills is not needed to update sites. This helps ensure that the site will be maintained after its initial launch by administrative support and other job functions typically tasked with making updates to unit websites.
  • Training and support for content contributors

Audience benefits

  • Consistency in user experience across medical and health science websites, making it easier for audiences to find information and not need to learn how to navigate each site
  • Site organization, website strategy, and content advisement to make websites user-friendly and meet audience needs and organizational goals

Quality benefits

  • Design that follows professional web standards and that adapts to trends in the industry
  • A clearly defined web process that has been developed based on experimentation and best practices
  • Website review before launching that helps ensure quality, which can impact a user’s perception and experience with the website
  • Access to photos from AHC Communications’ collection
  • Capitalizing on the value of the University’s brand, helping establish trust with audiences