Awards
Individual Sub-Web Sites: University of Colorado at Boulder - Silver Medal

Category 10B: Web Sites – Individual Sub-Web Sites
University of Colorado at Boulder – The Beza Mahafaly Lemur Biology Project

Contact: Malinda Miller-Huey, director of Web communications, 3100 Marine St., #527A, Boulder, CO 80309, Phone: (303) 492-3079, e-mail: malinda.miller-huey@colorado.edu

Planning and Objectives: To plan for this site, Web communications focused on turning a PowerPoint presentation the client had perfected into a fun, attractive Web site that is easy for users from different ages and backgrounds to utilize. Web communications also researched what other academic and educational sites, such as National Geographic, were doing to make learning interesting for younger audiences. The funding for this project was very limited and chiefly obtained from a grant that took over a year to procure. Web communications had roughly $1,000 to complete the project, so it was imperative that the design achieve the educational objectives and stay within budget.

The objectives of this project were to:

  • Create a multi-media site designed to provide a better understanding of current lemur conservation research being carried out by the client, Dr. Michelle Sauther.
  • Emphasize the teaching nature of this site by spending the limited budget on featuring Dr. Sauther’s video and photography, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the site to appeal to a variety of learners, particularly K-12 students.
  • An important requirement of the site was to make the site appealing to a wide range of audiences, especially K-12 students, without watering down the research findings. This was accomplished by writing the findings in a method valuable to researchers while allowing the photos, did you knows facts, and videos appeal and be easily digestible by younger audiences.

Audience(s): This site is an educational and research site designed for a wide variety of audiences, from researchers to students in elementary school classrooms.

Use of Resources: This project was done using only campus resources. Dr. Michelle Sauther was the client. The CU-Boulder office of Web communications provided the design and Web development services.

Evaluation Plan: This site was launched on June 7, 2006. The chief evaluation methods are monitoring Web traffic recorded in web logs, sites and publications where the site has been linked, and departmental and community feedback.

Response:

  • After evaluating Web site logs, Web communications found a 150 percent increase in visits to the site since the redesign was launched.
  • The client reports a positive response from other members of the Anthropology Department as well as an enthusiastic response from students both at the university and in the community.
  • The American Museum of Natural History has a link to Dr. Sauther’s site from their site, which has increased the number of e-mails she has received about her work.
  • Just recently in February 2007, Dr. Sauther was interviewed and prominently featured by WildMadagascar.org/mongabay.com in an article about her work. The interview mentions the Web site and can be found at http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0205-interview_sauther.html.