Free websites built by University of Michigan grad students

mlhess's picture

We are seeking clients for a class at the University of Michigan School of Information. Students in this class break into teams to build websites.

We have about 30 students in the class this winter, so we need 10 sites to create.

That’s where you come in.

Do you know anyone that needs a site (re)built that would be a good candidate for our students?

These are advanced practitioners, typically in the latter half of their Master’s degree in information. They’ve received previous training on everything from information architecture to current theories on what makes websites most usable.

What you get:

Students are expected to deliver a working site and design documents, as well as documentation/user manual explaining how to carry out the tasks required for using, maintaining, and administering the site. The documentation package is normally around 20-50 pages. We also provide directions on how to deploy the site.

Some of the sites do require some theming (and design work) after the term is over. Not all the students know how to do this, but they will provide some resources on the best ways to get it done.

What we're looking for in a client:

We’re looking for people who need relatively easy sites that have content to manage.

Our clients are frequently nonprofits, but are not required to be.

You must be willing to help students by explaining your group's work and giving continuous feedback. You’ll need a single point of contact who is willing to spend at least one hour per week with the student team by phone/Skype/etc. or in person.

And you must have an interest in deploying the site at the end of the term.

Past clients:

U-M Medical School, VA Hospital HSR&D, Rwanda: Stories for Hope Project, Polar Bear Archives, William Davidson Institute, Temple Beth Emeth, the U-M Biological Station, and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

Other information:

The course’s faculty members will present a list of projects to students during the first class and allow them to express preferences. Faculty will then assign student teams to projects, taking into account their preferences while ensuring that the students' skills complement each other so that each team has a good balance.



Michael Hess
University of Michigan School of Information

Want a site?

Potential clients should complete a brief interest form here .
Projects will be chosen by the second week in January. The projects will be completed by April 2017.


Does it have to be in Drupal?

johnnny83's picture

Does it have to be in Drupal?

I'd suggest one of the

awasson's picture

I'd suggest one of the deliverables of each project be an activities report that provides a breakdown of the tasks involved and the hours that were required so that in four years or so, when the client needs to update, migrate or upgrade their site, they have a good idea of what it costs of it are in the real world. It also gives them useful financial data for their AGM, annual reports and board meetings.

Disclaimer: I work almost exclusively with non-profits and have done so for most of the past 15 - 16 years. I understand the financial pressures they are faced with and have seen that without being informed of the costs of necessary tools like websites, CRM's, donation platforms etc., they can be in a precarious position.

Good luck with this endeavour, it will absolutely be valuable for your grad students and will hopefully give the clients great websites to work with.


question, instead of create

raul_drupal_dev's picture

question, instead of create free web-sites, why don't help with the core or contrib modules? there are many things to do, many issues to fix and actually is the best way to learn how people work with drupal and learn drupal itself!

Good luck!


Aprende drupal con videotutoriales en español en mi blog

Helping with Drupal Module Improvements

pcoughlin's picture

Raul made a great suggestion. This would be of benefit to more than just the one client and get the students into the Drupal community.

+1 for Raul.

@raul_drupal_dev: great,

awasson's picture

@raul_drupal_dev: great, great suggestion.


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