CREATE AND MANAGE UNITS
The administrators can, on this screen, create microsites that on our interface are called units. He can assign managers and contributors to this unit.
Some departments wanted to show academic events and notices on their microsites, while some even wanted a news section. The plugin checkboxes on this screen lets the admin decide which units will have news, notices and events sub-modules in their units.
The parent unit option will let the application allow the flow of information across other microsites. I had added this option for a separate program and courses module that has not been covered in this case study.I have also added a type classification for units, this would provide filters when the user would be searching across more than 150 microsites of the Banaras Hindu University.
I had to add a screen to let the admin add and manage users. This window like the previous screens is only accessible to the administrator and not the managers.
The university management wanted to keep a record of their users’ last activities, which is why it has been reflected here.The new user form opens up in a pop-up window, just like the ‘Create Unit’ form. The buttons on the left against the options, accordingly open different forms on the right side on the window.This module is linked to an SMS gateway that shares an email/SMS with the newly registered users. The users can click on the hyperlinks in the email or SMS to proceed to generate passwords and gain access.
POST AND PAGES
The page redirects appear in the navigation menus, and the posts (news, notices, and academic events) appear in their dedicated sections on the unit homepages and on their own dedicated pages. Users can choose to save pages/posts as drafts or publish them online.
This sub-module is accessible to unit managers and contributors as well. They can view and edit all the pages and posts associated with their units. However, posts written or edited by contributors require approval from the administrators or managers.
The first screen of this sub-module shows all the important details of posts and pages in its lists.
Users can ensure good SEO with custom title, URL and meta-tags. I advised my development teams to not create our own custom text editor for many reasons, including budget and time.
We used the CK Editor instead, for it was very flexible and tested. The users could even custom design the associated section of its page from this editor.
I had to add an approval step for posts and pages that were created or edited by the contributors.
This step was necessary for many reasons, the most important one being that the site managers were accountable to the BHU administration. The contributors being students required supervision.
The pages and post lists are accessible through the dropdown on the top-left above the list. The ‘View’ button opens the page/posts on a new window on Google Chrome.
This screen is not accessible to the contributors.
I had seen in my site audit, that a header element on the client’s old website can redirect to a microsite, an external website, a page or a download link. Therefore, while designing this navigation manager I ensured that it lets the admin and managers create these redirects.
Like the previous sub-module, this module too restricts the managers’ access rights to just their units’ navigation management. This sub-module is not accessible to contributors.
This screen lets users manage the entire unit navigation (header and footer). Users can edit a menu element (its name and redirect URL) or add a sub-menu element to it that would appear in its dropdown in the frontend.
RESULTS AND TAKEAWAYS
The unit management module was the first thing that was developed in this project for obvious reasons. There was a lot of data that had to be published online.
Because of the user-hierarchy that I had created, the department representatives didn’t need external website management teams for managing their microsites. This pulled them into active website management and defined their accountability.
I had to spend 15 days at the Banaras Hindu University to train the University representatives on working with the CMS. The outspoken management and faculty members were impressed with our solution.
The BHU project was hailed by many people in the Management as part of the India's digital ‘revolution,’ that the Banaras Hindu University joined late.
By late 2019 I left BSN Infotech and thus the project as well. I’m emotionally attached to this project because I learned so much while designing it, and I’d be willing to help with UI improvisation if the BHU ask for it.