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Integrated Services Provided by Web Services

Web Services collaborates with Information Technology Services, Center for Instructional Innovation, and other departments who may be responsible for the products and services we can integrate with the Tarleton website. For example, if you need an online survey, Institutional Research and Effectiveness is the owner and maintainer of Qualtrics, which though it has been used for online forms has the primary purpose and functionality of a survey tool. These surveys can be linked to from the Tarleton website, but Web Services does not service it. If you contact us, we will redirect you to Institutional Research for support services. The following products and services have some component that Web Services owns, maintains, or consults on for proper implementation on the Tarleton website.

Online Forms

Who wants to fill out paper forms and snail mail them back to the university or pass them around from department to department for signature with a ten day turnaround? Online demand for form submission and workflow is increasing. While we have solutions for some aspects of online forms, others are still being investigated or piloted for usability and integration with our other systems.

For example, if you are looking for workflow, that is, you want to pass a form from one department or individual to the next for signature approvals or corrections, we don't have a vetted solution but we are investigating some products as a university-wide service. Therefore, when you make form requests that involve multiple signatures, we may have to advise you on sticking to paper for a little while longer while we put your name on the list of departments who might have a stake in our research. Additionally, we don't have an online form service that can take PII, FERPA, or HIPAA information securely, but we are working with Information Technology Services on solutions.

Web Services has a university-wide solution with Wufoo for online forms that do not contain secure information. These forms have basic email notification services, some cool logic (where you can ask certain questions based on specific answers), and the ability to export to a spreadsheet file. However, this isn't an enterprise or database solution, so Web Services would need to consult with you on your goals and how Wufoo may work for you.

Our enrollment areas are getting integrated into an enterprise solution for online forms called Target X which uses form building software that not only can be stored in a database solution but can be tracked for Return On Investment (ROI). Web Services assists and consults on form generation and integration with the Tarleton website, including best practices and means of tracking advertising that goes to these online forms. We place these forms strategically across the website and analyze the results of your marketing campaigns for areas of improvement and increased engagement.

Embedded Maps

Web Services has a university-wide solution with Campus Bird for an interactive and graphical campus map solution. We are able to

  • add locations based on type
  • add images, videos, and descriptions with links back to our website
  • create and link to temporary or specialized maps
  • create virtual tours

Examples of specialized maps or solutions we've implemented in Campus Bird and embedded or linked to from the Tarleton website:

  • Construction and renovation updates
  • Parking and parking closures updates
  • Public safety locations (e.g. defibrillation, storm shelters)
  • Commencement parking locations and driving or walking directions into campus and the event location
  • Homecoming parade and other event routes
  • Campus history tour
  • Stephenville campus tour

Google maps and Google Fusion Table maps can also be implemented per approval by Web Services. Since Google Fusion Table maps take tabular data and make really awesome visual representations of that data, we have to make sure the data does not reveal any information that would infringe on the privacy of our users. In order for us to implement your special maps, your maps must be made public and provide us with the code to implement it. Contact Web Services for consultation on these procedures as Google changes the steps occasionally.

Event Registration and Calendars

There are a many solutions used by Tarleton for event registration, including Cvent, Wufoo, LiveWhale, and Target X. Some of these require pricing, like Cvent, and others are a collaboration between Information Technology Services and Web Services, like Target X, to ensure the attendee information is properly recorded and tracked.

Web Services can directly assist with Wufoo registration forms and LiveWhale RSVP forms. These are basic forms, not requiring private information, that allow you to export attendee submissions to a spreadsheet. LiveWhale's solution is more basic, with name, email, phone number, and a comments section to add additional information. Wufoo forms allow more questions, like T-shirt sizes and food preferences. Neither solution allows for direct payment. You would need to link to the Tarleton Marketplace, with the assistance of Business Services on the implementation. Questions regarding functionality of Cvent and Target X Events should be directed to Information Technology Services.

Web Services has a university-wide solution with LiveWhale for calendar solutions, which includes the following functionality:

  • ability to display specific events based on group, category, and/or tag via a calendar widget on your webpage
  • ability to display specific events based on group, category, and/or tag via a calendar view on the calendar website, retaining your website's navigational structure to bring them back to your website
  • user functionality to add events to their calendars 
  • user functionality to share events on social media or email
  • event owner functionality to maintain RSVPs, manage attendance and registrations, and email notifications to attendees including waitlisted registrants

You don't have to have access to Cascade CMS to make updates to your calendar group or groups. Those feed automatically into your websites based on the widgets you discuss with Web Services to implement. And you can have an unlimited number of employees or student employees assist you with maintenance of those events.

News

Search engines love news as long as it is current. Fresh information makes you relevant in your subject areas and ranks you higher in SEO for those topics. One of the best ways to do that is to take advantage of our Special News Panel which pulls a feed from our press releases about your activities. Make sure you have contacted News and Information in Marketing and Communications about the successes, research, and other extraordinary journeys your faculty, staff, students, and alumni have taken. We only create news categories on your subject matter when there are at least six (6) relevant articles posted in the last 12 months. After Web Services has placed the news feed, you don't have to update anything in Cascade. Just keep working with News and Information, talking the talk and getting pictures taken of your department's progress, and the feed will automatically update on your webpage.

Social Media

Engagement with your audience is important for building relationships, but it also helps your SEO. Let Web Services know if you are using social media to interact with your users, so we can get it approved for posting a link on your website. Tarleton State University has official social media accounts that we can channel your message through. If you have a strong case for a separate channel to interact with your specific audience, make sure you have the following at minimum before making your request to our social media coordinator:

  • Sustainability: One or more individuals who keep the conversation going (fresh and current) on the social media platform and understand the technology they are using
  • Reputation: Your messaging indicates your ability to abide by Tarleton's social media principles and engagement guidelines
  • Brand: You are using appropriate branding on your account to identify your account as a Tarleton social media account, which you can request Creative Services assist you with

Information about the social media approval process and standards are on the Social Media Policy.

If you would like the engagement to be posted on your website, Web Services can speak to you about pricing with Tagboard for managing particular social media tags. Proprietary social media platform widgets have failed the vetting process for inclusion on the new responsive web templates, but Tagboard is capable of displaying approved posts from tags you want displayed on your website from a number of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Analytics

Web Services implements tracking code across many of the integrated services we use. This helps all of us see the engagement and usage of our website, products, and services from a marketing perspective in order to improve engagement and advise on successful marketing and advertising strategies. Data tells the story, so the more you explain to Web Services your needs, the better we will be able to track the intended story line and tell you where improvements could be made.

This information needs to be given to us well ahead of implementation, so the data is clean and accurate. Expect test data before the Go Live implementation of any marketing campaigns.

Information should be given in a clear manner. For example, if you have a goal to increase conversions on the "Apply Now" button on a specific page or pages on your website, tell us to track the "Apply Now" button on that webpage or webpages. If you have users filling out a form and you want to track conversions on completed form submissions, tell us to track the Thank You page that the user goes to upon submitting the form. This information helps us in determining what content is missing on your website or webpages across the Tarleton website that needs to be built out before your campaign starts.

If someone else wants to add tracking code, we need to work with that vendor to do it correctly. As mentioned regarding images, the more tracking code there is, the more potential problems. We use Google Tag Manager (GTM) to manage all our tracking code, Tarleton or vendor made. Some vendors may claim code must be placed on the website directly, but that can cause potential security and website loading issues. Web Services must be able to vet the code with the vendor before it is approved to make sure all our users are protected and still enjoy the web experience.

What cool things can we currently track? Besides page views you can view personally within Cascade, we have set up the following that we can consult with you on:

  • the ability to see if someone reads (slowly) or scans (quickly) a webpage and where they typically stop reading the main content of the webpage
  • the ability to see if someone selects a certain link or button in webpage
  • the ability to see which slide in a slideshow a user may select due to a call-to-action
  • the ability to see which form fields are completed or skipped on a form embedded on a webpage

With proper consultation ahead of time, we can also track:

  • digital advertising from specific campaigns and calls-to-action
  • specific documents on your website you want to know where selected for viewing
  • where users are coming from to get to your webpage or website

Other tracking may be possible, but you must make sure to consult with Web Services first, so we can set up the tracking code to watch for that activity.