Washington University School of Law

Building Strong Internal Communications

student using intranet
Back

Through a focus on world-class educational opportunities, the Washington University Law School community had grown, but its internal communication wasn’t keeping up. We helped create a digital tool to strengthen connections. 

Objective

When we first started working with the Washington University School of Law on its new external-facing site, law.wustl.edu, we quickly uncovered that students, faculty and staff were frustrated with the school's current intranet platform and often defaulted to putting internal-focused content on the public website. It was clear that WashU Law needed an intranet that effectively meets the internal communication needs of faculty, staff and current students.

Strategy

Almanac worked with WULaw to rethink how the school's intranet could work with the new external site. Almanac developed an intranet platform that not only houses internal documents and communication, it also works in tandem with the Law school's external marketing site, ensuring accuracy where there is overlap in content. Utilizing three key strategies, Almanac created a resource that is accessible, easily updated and unique to the needs of the individual user.

Accessible Content

A goal for the project was to make resources easier to access from every corner of the site. By categorizing and prioritizing information and by using efficient tools like calendars, search functions and unique event pages, we alleviated the need to house information on the external marketing site and created an appropriate location for internal communication.

Information Continuity

To streamline content that is delivered on both the external site and the intranet – events and faculty profiles – and to simplify maintenance, updates and edits, we created a system in which this content is only uploaded and updated on the intranet. Once it is edited through the intranet site, it is automatically updated on the external marketing site, keeping information consistent and content entry time low.

Intentional User Roles

By Integrating the University’s SSO authorization, WUSTL Key, we were able to assign roles and levels of access to specific users. For example, student users are able to access specific course documents, while faculty members are also able to enter their course information and update personal bios that are published on the sites. Staff administrators are able to edit school events and can control the functionality of the site.

Results

Though our collaborative approach with the WashU Law School, we worked with faculty, staff and students to understand the depth of their digital needs. Through our in depth prototyping and design phase, we were able to continue to evaluate the evolving needs of the school community, and the various users, to make effective decisions that ultimately provided the school with a tool to support its administrative and internal communication needs, today and as they grow and adapt in the future.

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