Website Redesign Project

Project Goals & Objectives

South Dakota Mines has partnered with Modern Campus and iFactory to redesign the website in order to deliver a new and future-focused digital strategy and web presence by elevating the university and will reflect on best practices in design, content strategy, usability, accessibility, technical implementation, and overall user experience.

The development and design goals of the new website will be to focus on user-friendly and personalized content; to offer a fully optimized and compliant for ADA accessibility; will be built for search engines using quality keywords and best SEO practices; and will allow users to easily find and search for specific information within the website. 

This redesign is critical to the university’s reputation and will allow us to compete as one of the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics universities and to our goal of reaching students who are serious about their future and passionate about STEM.

The South Dakota Mines website,, is a vital component for the university’s engagement and enrollment efforts and a key platform for elevating the university’s brand, reputation and communication strategies. It is one of the most important tools in recruiting students, generating revenue, fundraising and telling external audiences who we are. Drawing more than 500,000 users who visit over 3 million pageviews a year, the South Dakota Mines website is, for many, the first experience and interaction with the university.

Project Plan/Timelines

The contract has been signed, and a detailed timeline will be set up with our team and the vendor. On average, in the higher education industry and for a website of our size, the project will take approximately 12-18 months. 

The Work So Far

  • In 2022, the university engaged in a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process for the redesign, development and implementation of the website. Modern Campus and iFactory were chosen as the university’s partners. 
  • In 2023, a core team was developed to act as a working group to represent key areas of the university. This group includes members of Marketing & Communications, Information Technology Services, Academic Affairs, Recruitment and Enrollment, and Student Engagement.

Project Core Team

Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
Marketing and Communications
Julia Easton, Web Designer

Executive Sponsor
Marketing and Communications
Ann Brentlinger, Director of Marketing and Communications

Marketing and Communications
Sofia Gruden, Marketing Specialist of Marketing and Communications

Information Technology Services
Vickie Bender, Associate Director of Information Services 

Academic Affairs
Darcy Briggs, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Recruitment and Enrollment
Molly Moore, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Student Engagement
Shelly Tupper, Assistant to the Dean/Office Coordinator

Discovery Phase:

Discovery Methods

  • Pre-project questionnaire
  • Brand and previous discovery documentation
  • Recruitment pieces
  • Analytics review
  • Existing website
  • Social media
  • National and local studies
  • 4 Stakeholder groups (38 participants)
  • 2 Student focus groups (10 current students)
  • Student survey (87 responses)
  • Faculty/staff survey (132 responses)

Student & Faculty/Staff Pain Points

  • Simplify Pages, Navigation & Organization
  • Telling Our Story Better
  • Lack of Consistency & Structure
  • Maintenance - Needs to be easier to update

    Feedback Trends:

    Simplify and Organize.  Navigation, text, pages, etc. to make the site more accessible and intuitive to find what users need.

    Make it Engaging. Tell Our Story. More visually appealing, engage the audience and incorporate brand messaging.

    Audience Needs. Different needs and information based on audience that needs to be segmented out into easier to access areas.

    Recommended Project: Intranet

    Next Phase: Content Inventory (deciding what stays and what goes)

    Website Project Communications

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    History of the website

    Website History

    sdsmt edu website history