Agnes Scott College Issues Website RFP
Agnes Scott College invites qualified vendors to submit a proposal for a redesign of the college’s website agnesscott.edu. The chosen vendor will design a website that serves as a marketing tool to attract prospective students. The site should be visually appealing, easy to navigate and intuitive for prospective students and their families to use. All of our campus constituents—current students, parents, alumnae, donors, prospective donors, faculty and staff, community members and media —should be able to easily locate the information and services they require, access pages that are important to them, and navigate services and resources they need. While the project timeline is dependent on the proposals and the approved RFP, our prefered timeline for implementing the redesign is four to eight months. The new site should cohere with Agnes Scott’s visual branding and identity guidelines while being flexible enough to adapt to rebranding. All website solutions are welcome for required functionality or features.
For almost 130 years, Agnes Scott College has been “educating women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” Situated on a 100-plus acre campus in Decatur, Georgia, Agnes Scott lies just six miles from downtown Atlanta, a cultural and economic epicenter of activity and opportunity for eager young minds. The college is home to more than 1,040 combined undergraduate/graduate students with over 58 percent students of color. Ranked the No. 1 most innovative liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges, Agnes Scott introduced its groundbreaking undergraduate SUMMIT curriculum—which prepares every student to be an effective change agent in a global society—almost four years ago. Cutting-edge graduate programs were launched in 2017 with a focus on “studies for forward thinkers.” Additionally, Agnes Scott is ranked No. 2 “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” No. 1 among “Colleges that Promote Social Mobility,” and No. 51 among national liberal arts colleges.
The collegiate Gothic and Victorian red brick-and-stone buildings have won national awards for design and resulted in Agnes Scott’s recognition for the second-most-beautiful campus in the country by The Princeton Review’s Best 361 Colleges (2006). Our campus consists of 30 buildings and an apartment complex, and the college was awarded STARS Gold (is this the phrase, or “LEED Gold”?) rating in 2018 from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements.
Scope of Work:
The purpose of this redesign is to reconstruct the visual design, site accessibility, site search, information architecture and content strategy of the current website. Agnes Scott College is seeking a vendor that will:
1. execute the redesign, and
2. provide guidance and assistance throughout the entire process, including concept development, gathering stakeholder input, construction, content migration, testing, training for key website content managers and implementation of maintenance methodologies.
The college will provide photos, logo files; information on appropriate logo use; and logo color Pantones. The visual design of the Agnes Scott website should provide consistent navigation, layout and styles in a manner that is user-centric, intuitive, interactive, and on-par with web preferences of today’s generation of college students. The website must reflect SUMMIT and convey the SUMMIT message across pages. The vendor must develop Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to control look and feel wherever possible. The vendor must take into account innovative ways of connecting to stakeholders, including social media. The designs must also be mobile-responsive and support all popular browsers.
● Search Engine Optimization
The website exposure should adhere to the latest search engine optimization best practices and submit page and sitemap information to all popular search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) while allowing integration with social media platforms.
● Customer Service and Training
Introductory training of key content editors is required. The availability of no-charge phone and email access for college staff to contact customer service is expected.
● Content Management Software
Agnes Scott uses a cloud-hosted version of Cascade CMS (Hannon Hill) as the content management software. The college has no plan to change content management software. Redesign proposals must align with capabilities of Cascade CMS.
The redesigned site must comply with best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
● Project Management
The Agnes Scott College Web Advisory Group will oversee the general direction of the web redesign project. The day-to-day work and decisions of the project will be delegated to three project leads— Tammy Roundy, Web Developer, and Neta Counts, Associate Vice President fcr Technology, in the Information Technology department; and Nneka Nwaobi, Associate Director of Digital Communications, in Communications and Marketing, who will work jointly on creative aspects of the project and liaise with the Web Advisory Group as needed. The chosen vendor should include in their response a brief overview of how they propose to organize project management, including a change management process and approval systems for changes.
The selected vendor is required to provide the following tasks and deliverables:
● a detailed analysis of the college’s website;
● proposed site architecture and navigation mapping;
● a review of Cascade capabilities and a functionality proposal to incorporate into the redesign;
● determination of primary navigation areas and web elements for the home page and primary landing pages;
● design concepts for evaluation by the Web Advisory Group;
● identification of primary objectives for the first-level landing pages;
● templates for the home page, landing pages, and second-level pages;
● assurance that the identified objectives are incorporated into the revised content;
● consistent and standardized templates for all pages not only to ensure that pages conform to the college’s existing brand guidelines but also to provide flexibility to allow for some level of individuality and functionality for the different departments around the college;
● a review of existing web content and recommendation of improvements based on best practices, including the consolidation and deletion of unnecessary content and web elements;
● rewriting and reorganizing existing content on the home page as well as first- and second-tier pages;
● incorporation of dynamic elements into the home page design template to reinforce web strategy objectives and goals;
● incorporation of graphics and images into revised web pages to complement content and reinforce messaging and branding;
● assurance that any developed templates are able to incorporate emergency notification messages;
● assurance that the web design is able to accommodate delivery using responsive design across different platforms, including tablets, smartphones, and various desktop views;
● assurance that templates allow for the software integration for a variety of common website processes, such as email, surveys, social media, feedback, forms and calendars;
● recommend web management operations framework and site governance policies and processes to support ongoing review and maintenance of the new website; and
● provide training sessions on website structure, writing for web, design strategy and/or other topics as identified.
February 15th, 2019.
LaNeta Counts, Associate Vice President for Technology
Agnes Scott College
141 E. College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
Shift Communications and Zeno Group are firms with relevant experience.