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Monday, June 18, 2018

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Website team-building


A UH team participated in a competition aimed at altering or rebuilding websites to make them accessible for those with disabilities.

The team won second place in October’s competition by rebuilding the Stage Presence Performing Arts Studio’s website to be more user-friendly to those with visual and hearing disabilities.

“It was a great opportunity to receive basic and advanced training on the latest website accessibility standards to ensure that the sites that we build and maintain within our own departments on campus are accessible and optimized for search engines, mobile devices and emerging technologies,” said Rachel Vacek, team member and head of UH web services. “Also, it was a fun way for developers and designers to give back to the greater Houston community and help a nonprofit organization.”

The team didn’t choose which website to rebuild for the competition, but was assigned a specific company.

“We were assigned it, but the client was a good fit for us,” said Christina Morris, team member and web developer from UH libraries.

The team had less than a month to work with their assigned company on the new design, information, architecture and content.

“The teams have eight hours to build the site from the ground up,” Vacek said.

The seven teams were judged by accessibility, creativity, usability, aesthetics and extensibility of concept to a larger website.

“It’s an amazing feeling to see how pleased the nonprofit organization is with your work after you just built a complete website from start to finish within an eight hour time period,” Vacek said. “That feeling alone makes the competition worth all the effort.”

The rest of the team included Instructional Designer from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Jennifer Lazzaro, Web Developer from UH libraries Sean Watkins and UH Systems Analyst Frederick Young.


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