Road Map to a New UB Web (3/17/10)


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Overview of the University at Buffalo's plans for a web content management system, by Dr. Joe Brennan, 03/17/2010

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  • A Road Map to the UB Web  [Audience: UB Communicators – a group that represents the internal and external communication efforts of UB’s academic and administrative units.] [Joe-Framing statement, I am going to take you on a trip….bring up analogies of what would happen if we tried the tip without a roadmap, etc.]
  • Acting With UrgencyExamine market and competitive realities>>Over the past 15 years we have seen an explosion in Web-based communications (slide of top sites eBay, Amazon, Google, etc)>>Not only in the corporate sector but also in higher educationFACT:The institution’s web is one of TOP THREE influencers informing Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, as they make their college choices The only other vehicle that comes close in influence is the campus visit. --Hobson’s Domestic Research Report presented at NACAC 2010 (National Association of College Admission Counseling)
  • Identify and discuss crises, potential crises or major opportunities Crises: >>Hope vs Hype: Based on a mixture of hope and hype, institutions of higher education shifted valuable resources into creating Web sites to meet a number of demands including faculty/student/staff recruitment, alumni outreach, development, and community relations.Stealth visitors and the opportunity losses we never know aboutQUOTE from 3/09 New York Times“The Internet has thrown off another marker: applicants used to have to call or write for a catalog, giving the college an early signal of their interest. Now, many campuses say 25 percent to 30 percent are “stealth applicants” — the first the college hears of them is when they apply. “
  • OPPORTUNITY>>An enthusiastic workforce: The current volume and variation of UB Web sites means that people are enthusiastic, determined, and willing to adapt to meet the needs of their constituents>>A tremendous body of work: Now that the Web has proven to be a successful means of communication (The UB homepage alone gets more than 6 million visits annually) and now that we understand more about how people use and interact with the Web we have the opportunity to harness all of this energy/work and direct it toward proven, sustainable solutions.
  • CHALLENGE: >>Fragmentation: This work, unfortunately, was done in silos, with each constituent building there own infrastructures, standards, etc. >>Maintenance: The amount of work and the amount of traffic that they receive, which numbers in the tens of millions annually, demonstrates the importance of their existence…..but these efforts are more than doubled in terms of redundant work, outdated and inaccurate content, and the huge difficulty in changing things as simple as a spelling error. Case in point, when you have to call somebody in IT to correct a spelling error something isn’t quite right with the way the Web is being managed.EXAMPLES--How we message UB--How we message Buffalo--Aligning how we publish tuition costs
  • Our existing interfaces are barriers for our users Navigation is Not consistentNot user friendlyA hassle to keep updated a usable interface improves (or hinders) an experience User asked to find 4 faculty members First (Dr. Fan of Anesthesiology) teaches the user the organization  Note how this helps find the next 2 doctorsRobert HubenJoseph Izzo (our “mouse” grows more confidant with every task) The fourth site organizes differently. Watch what happens when our user is asked to find Mark O’Brian of BiochemistryHe goes right past himNo leveraging of lessons learned from the interface to help with ease of use 
  • Developing a Change Vision “EMPOWERINGpeople and REMOVING THE BARRIERS to create successful and strategic Web communications.”Our vision is the Web Content Initiative: A university-wide effort to maximize the potential and minimize the effort of Web communications.( key words: strategic, consistent, flexible, sustainable)
  • Create a vision to help direct the change effortOur vision is STRATEGIC: based on a research-based business plan that takes into consideration both user and business needsOur vision is CONSISTENT: an interface that lets UB stand out as a brand that provides quality content and a positive user-experienceOur vision is FLEXIBLE: accommodating a wider variety of information needsOur vision is SUSTAINABLE: designed to be supported in a range of ways depending on your user’s information needs, and your ability to support them[**Joe: FLEXIBLE AN SUSTAINABLE is a real what’s in it for them] 
  • Develop strategies for achieving that vision *** (quick transition to slide 10-11)
  • Introduction of the vehicle parable
  • THE EMOWERED DRIVER WITH A ROADMAPCreating the strategy (ROADMAP/Triptik)Assessing where you areIdentifying where you need to goUnderstanding where your audience needs you to beGetting buy in and support for the plan
  • Finding the right message (CARGO) Leveraging and shaping the work that’s already been doneInstituting best-practices in Web content developmentMeeting user needs and expectations
  • Creating the right interface to house that message: FRAMEEasy to understandEasy to useEnjoyable and consistent experience
  • Finding the right tools to implement and sustain the solution (ENGINE) Are the best fit for UBHas features that are easy to useLeverages our work through a shared content repositoryReference ONLY: We use the Day CQ5 Web Content Management System
  • Training to insure the best possible results (DRIVING LESSONS) Training to be able to build your roadmapTraining to create and maintain the condition of your cargoTraining to use and maintain the condition of our vehicleTraining to use and maintain the condition of our engine
  • Support to help you reach your destination (Pit Stop/Gas Stations) Advisory GroupLeveraged Service CenterEducation, training and documentationHelp Desk 
  • Where we’ve been: Explains the research and planning that informed the ROADMAP, VEHICLE and CARGOWCI is informed by research and evaluation. A lot of the people in this room have participated in this, or represents departments who have given feedback that shaped our Web site architecture, graphics and content, >>Worked with national best-in-class consultants in Web information architecture, user experience and integration >>Audit over 500 internal and external sites >>Benchmarked practices at 57 universities >>Conducted in-depth with seven peer universities >>Created a mental model of what resonates with Web visitors >>based on in-depth interviews with 50 individuals >>integrates feedback from 100 more >> generated over 4,000 data points >>Usability tested our prototypes STEPS Create a strategic planStakeholder interviews,Benchmarking,Content Audit= Identifying Business needsCreate a mental modelUser interviews,Identified needs and tasks,Review of business needs,Review of content= Model of alignment between user needs, business needs and required content Create Information ArchitectureCharting Audience critical paths and key needs,Business needsIdentifying content and messages,and functionality needed to support those needs= Creating a aligned, intuitive framework for delivery Create WiresApplying the UB Structures to meet functionality and structures identified by the IAKeeping the user in mind at all times= Creating a aligned, intuitive, sustainable site framework  
  • Where we are now:Explains where we are at with our execution of the VEHICLE and CARGO **(SLIDE 19 talk through to SLIDE 26)PILOT ProjectsCurrently building the pilot sites all of which are to be targeted for completion by the end of summer 2010 (old to Wires to GUI’s)
  • The three paths.Use your pointer to show where we are nowHow do we get started?The leadership at UB will need to determine:Financial modelPriorities,ResourcesTo inform their thinking we have formed an Advisory group to help us suggest the model that will best fit UB’s needs You can give us a sense of how you feel
  • What can I do to get ready?You have the opportunity to attend workshops that introduce you to steps you can take to get started and give you a better sense of what you will be working with  ROADMAP: Research and Planning 1. Defining StrategyAssessing the needs of key stakeholders Benchmarking peers and competitionDefining clear business objectivesAssessing your organization’s ability to resource theseGet your organization’s buy in on a common vision 2. Understanding your users expectationsAnalyzing what you knowUsing UB’s mental models to understand your users motivations and expectationsPrideful BelongersMatchseekersActive SupportersSolution SeekersDeriving key audience needsIdentifying the content and messaging needed to fulfill them CARGO: Content Redevelopment The Content Audit: Cleaning out the closet: Through inventorying and assessing your current content Through reengineering and updating this content to better fulfill your site needsThrough assigning ownership and maintenance expectations to all your content Writing for the webUnderstand how users process information differently on the webLearn techniques to improve your contentVEHICLE and ENGINE: ImplementationA look at the critical thinking behind the User Experience (UX) Principles driving the information architectureThe framework for a structured, consistent and flexible interfaceUsability and testing process A look under the hood of the CMS How easy it is to manage the contentHow the shared content repository will workWhat types of workflow are available 
  • Better experience for you, the communicatorsEmpowermentMembership in a communityAccess to contentAccess to best practicesBetter experience for our web usersImproved navigationUp-to-date contentBetter communications outcomesFOR REFERENCE ONLY:The Web Content Initiative can provide you with:Best-practices in Web writing and designShared content: less redundancy and more up-to-date informationInsight into understanding and fulfilling your constituents’ needsCommunicators empowered to easily do Web site creation and maintenanceInvolvement in a web community that is flexible, shared, and most importantly…supported More time to concentrate on your business needsMore time to implement strategic solutions rather than rushed decisions
  • Thanks. And to borrow a phrase, “Drivers wanted.”
  • Road Map to a New UB Web (3/17/10)

    1. 1.
    2. 2.
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6. Navigation is a barrier for our users<br />Not consistent across UB or even within the schools<br />Confusing, random, not user friendly<br />Relies on IT expertise to maintain, update <br />> Video Demonstration<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10. How We Get There<br />
    11. 11. How We Get There<br />
    12. 12. Creating the strategy<br />Where am I now?<br />Where do I want to be?<br />Where do users want me to be?<br />How do we get to where we BOTH want to go? <br />
    13. 13. Finding the right message<br />What condition is my vehicle in? What can be repaired? What is no longer usable?<br />What are the best features of competitors’ vehicles thatI can use in my vehicle?<br />What do users want from my vehicle? <br />
    14. 14. Creating the right interface to house the message<br />Is my fleet easy to maintain?<br />Are my vehicles user-friendly?<br />Do users enjoy my vehicles? <br />
    15. 15. Finding the right tools to sustain the solution<br />Does the engine best meet the needs of my fleet?<br />Will it perform well for individual vehicles?<br />Will it help the vehicles operate more efficiently? <br />
    16. 16. Driving Lessons<br />How to build a road map<br />How to create and deliver cargo<br />How to maintain your vehicle <br />How to reach your destiny<br />
    17. 17. Pit Stops<br />Business experts make decisions on how to fund and operate the fleet<br />Service Center works with you to get your vehicle started and keep it running smoothly<br />Training and support throughout your journey<br />
    18. 18. Where We’ve Been<br />
    19. 19. Wireframes<br />
    20. 20. Wireframes<br />
    21. 21. Proposed Web Site<br />
    22. 22. Proposed Web Site<br />
    23. 23. Before After<br />
    24. 24. Before After<br />
    25. 25. Before After<br />
    26. 26. Before After<br />
    27. 27. Where We Are Now<br />
    28. 28. Advisory Council to Help DevelopFunding Model<br />
    29. 29. Advisory Council to Help DevelopOperational Model<br />
    30. 30. What can I do to get ready?<br />
    31. 31. The Bottom Line<br />