UWM’s websites are the university’s number one recruitment tool, having reach and impact that surpasses all other communication channels.

Prospective students consistently report that the quality and usability of a university’s collective web presence can influence whether or not they will consider it in their search process. In order for UWM to be competitive in the higher education digital landscape and for its online presence to reflect the university’s standing as a R1 institution and one of America’s top research universities, it is essential that its websites provide the best possible content and experience to visitors.

UWM Web Identity 2.0 is a university-wide initiative that aims to:

  • improve the quality and consistency of content presentation and user experience across UWM websites for all website visitors
  • increase accessibility compliance across all websites
  • increase the efficiency of web page creation and maintenance and reduce the need for unit-specific custom web development

Quality & Consistency

A goal of the Web Identity 2.0 initiative is to increase the level of quality and consistency across all UWM.edu webpages to support the chancellor’s “visibility, image and brand” strategic direction, reflect the university as a quality institution that holds R1 status, and provide the best possible experience for all of our website visitors. Of particular priority are pages that feature content critical to the prospective student’s research, such as academic program information.

Accessibility Compliance

Web accessibility means that websites are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. Fully accessible website content can improve usability for all website visitors, extend an organization’s reach and mitigate potential legal risk. UWM is committed to diversity and to ensuring that people of all abilities have access to information. In support of the university’s inclusive mission and other active accessibility initiatives at the university, the Web Identity 2.0 initiative aims to increase accessibility compliance across UWM.edu websites. Options for content presentation have usability and accessibility compliance baked in and standardized implementation across UWM websites allows for future changes and updates that are necessary to maintain compliance to be efficiently applied and utilized by all.

Efficiency

The UWM Web Identity 2.0 initiative aims to reduce the amount of effort and resources required to implement branded, high-quality webpages and also reduce the amount of technical inconsistencies across UWM.edu websites. New tools and standards eliminate duplicative efforts, remove the need for custom work and allow content authors and website administrators to focus on providing effective and useful content.

New Tools and Standards

In order to accomplish the goals of the UWM Web Identity 2.0 initiative, new standards for website branding, design and content have been implemented. Supporting documentation is provided on both this website and the UWM Design System website to serve as a resource for presentation and implementation standards, options for variation and guidelines pertaining to accessibility compliance.

A new version of UWM’s primary WordPress theme, UWM Web Identity 2.0, and two new partner plugins, UWM Blocks and UWM Academics, have been created so that 2.0 standards can easily be implemented on your website and you can more efficiently create high quality, branded and accessibility compliant web pages. All three of these WordPress assets leverage WordPress’s new block editor (Gutenberg).

Implementation

All new or redesigned UWM.edu websites for schools, colleges, administrative units and academic centers are required to use the UWM Web Identity 2.0 WordPress theme. Websites currently using the 1.0 theme will need to switch to the 2.0 theme. Once all websites have switched to the new 2.0 theme, the 1.0 theme will be retired. For more information on the implementation process, visit uwm.edu/webid2-info.