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Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities
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Building a Better Web Enterprise for Colleges and Universities

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This presentation from NavigationArts discusses how to leverage the Web to promote your academic reputation; attract new students, donors, and research partners; engage alumni; and develop useful and …

This presentation from NavigationArts discusses how to leverage the Web to promote your academic reputation; attract new students, donors, and research partners; engage alumni; and develop useful and usable portals for students, faculty, alumni and staff.

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  • 1. Architects of the User Experience Building a Better University Web Enterprise
  • 2. 2NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise What is your college or university’s biggest challenge on the Web? Too many site stakeholders to make progress No coherent strategy Too many messages coming out of a single site Too many technologies Other
  • 3. 3NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Content Unpacking the University Web Experience
  • 4. 4NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Understand your target audiences, their lifecycles, and how they use your Web site. Internal Audiences External Audiences Students and their families Undergrad prospects Faculty and staff Grad/professional prospects Engaged alumni Non-degree students Donors and partners Potential faculty and staff Disconnected alumni Potential donors and partners Visitors and general public Internal audiences are External audiences are customer service audiences. prospects and leads.
  • 5. 5NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise The vast majority of university Web sites blend information across these widely varied audiences, trying to be everything to everyone.
  • 6. 6NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise A site that addresses too many divergent audiences is hard to use.  Confuses, overwhelms and frustrates users!  Dilutes messaging meant to engage audiences  Promotes site abandonment  Encourages information silos which lead to redundancy and inaccuracy  Hinders search and search engine optimization  Assumes users know exactly what they are looking for and how to find it
  • 7. 7NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Your Web strategy should align your organization’s online communication and business goals to your users’ motivations and behaviors. What’s the best way for a university to accomplish this?
  • 8. 8NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Begin to see your Web enterprise as two sites: Internal Audiences External Audiences Portal, intranet, or community .edu persuades and informs site serves and informs internal external audiences. audiences. Consider the business value of optimizing the user experience – It allows you to serve, inform, and persuade.
  • 9. 9NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise .edu site portal site While separate, the user experience across your public and portal sites should be consistent and unified.
  • 10. 10NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Content How to Approach a Unified Web Presence
  • 11. 11NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise When considering a unified Web program, what should your primary goals be?  Strengthening your online brand identity  Creating an intuitive, engaging Web presence  Improving your transaction channels for key constituencies  Building a site that effectively drives audiences into business channels and increases conversion  Centralizing your content management through governance  Using the Web to facilitate, rather than hinder, information sharing and content collaboration among stakeholders  Optimizing resources invested in the Web enterprise
  • 12. 12NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise You may be days, weeks, months or years from your unified Web project, but initiating the following practices will help you advance toward your goals.
  • 13. 13NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Understand User Experience Best Practices Practice: Research and understand user experience best practices. Value: This will help you communicate the business value of optimizing the user experience. Where to start: Familiarize yourself with a range of best practice topics related to web strategy, online information management and content strategy, interaction and interface design, technical and organizational governance models, and usability research. Recommended resources: Boxes and Arrows, http://www.boxesandarrows.com UseIt, http://www.useit.com
  • 14. 14NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Evaluate Your Web Brand Signal Practice: Evaluate the consistency and strength of the university brand across your web enterprise. Value: This will help you understand how your business units use the web for branding and the types of brand signals your users confront. Where to start: Surf your site and collect brand signals into a web brand inventory. Use this tool to define your current brand approach: Is it consistent or flexible? Controlled or decentralized? How many brands are there? Are these brands in content or design? As best as possible, evaluate your brand against the university’s strategic goals and its key competitors. Use your inventory to answer the question: How do we improve the strength of our university’s web brand signal?
  • 15. 15NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Survey the Competitive Landscape Practice: Perform a comparative analysis of current and aspirational competitor sites and regularly monitor the most effective sites. Value: This will help you know the competitive landscape and understand how other universities are using the web to support their business areas. Where to start: Evaluate your competitors’ sites for:  Content  Design  Usability  Brand Strength  Brand Consistency Use your findings as a benchmark for your own web strategy.
  • 16. 16NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Crunch the Numbers Practice: Evaluate your site analytics, search data, and server logs for trends and insights. Value: This data is evidence of where and how your web site is meeting user needs or falling short. Where to start: Evaluate your current analytics and use your findings to make measurable improvements wherever you can, no matter how small. Over time you can track your results and begin to build a case for comprehensive user experience improvements. Things to evaluate:  Top search terms  Most and least popular pages  Key points of abandonment
  • 17. 17NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Log and Analyze Your Content Practice: Complete a content inventory and analysis. Value: The only way to know how to improve your site is to understand it from a user’s perspective. By completing a content inventory and analysis, you will fully understand how your organization’s silos are enacted through your website. Where to start: Start from the homepage. Navigate hierarchically and laterally to understand the relationships among content. Look for content that is ROT (redundant, outdated or trivial). Track your findings and your progress. This exercise will help you empathize with and appreciate your users’ frustrations. It will also help you begin to brainstorm a new, more efficient model for your web site.
  • 18. 18NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Focus on User Research and Usability Testing Practice: Conduct research to better understand your users. Value: This research provides concrete evidence for how your users find and consume information on your site. Where to start: Get started with research sessions and employ practices such as focus groups, individual interviews, usability tests and surveys to help you understand how audiences are using your site. Effective user research activities:  Card sorting  Paper prototyping  Group brainstorming  Usability testing
  • 19. 19NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Know Your Content Contributors Practice: Talk with various university stakeholder groups to better understand where they’re coming from. Value: You will begin to engage your business stakeholders as partners in your cause. Where to start: Hold cross-departmental collaboration sessions to understand your stakeholders’ requirements, concerns and thoughts. Identify and track key themes and points of consensus. Goals for stakeholder interactions:  Opening communication channels with your colleagues  Tracking how stakeholder requirements change over time  Enabling stakeholders to take ownership over improving the Web  Beginning to break organizational silos for “the greater good”
  • 20. 20NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Know Your Technical Infrastructure Practice: Evaluate your technical infrastructure to identify any requirements, considerations or important challenges to implementing an enterprise-wide architecture. Value: This will help you understand the universe of processes and applications that exist across your Web enterprise, and the users and business stakeholders related to each. Where to start: Work with your Web technology group or groups to understand the Web lifecycle. Analyze how the Web site directly and indirectly serves customers and prospects along their lifecycles. Questions to ask:  How many Web accounts exist and how are they used?  What is the content management infrastructure?  What are the key points of integration (application, business, etc.)?
  • 21. 21NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Content Now that you’ve done all this work, put it to work for you. Use your findings to create a roadmap for a unified Web enterprise you and your University can be proud of.
  • 22. 22NavigationArts, LLC Building a Better University Web Enterprise Questions? info@navigationarts.com 703-584-8920 http://www.navigationarts.com Please be in touch with any questions you may have.

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