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The fittest survive: site iteration and adaptation (J. Boye Århus)

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Shortening the lifecycle of site changes allows for fast adjustments to interface and content. If something's wrong, you'll hear about it--as long as you're listening. …

Shortening the lifecycle of site changes allows for fast adjustments to interface and content. If something's wrong, you'll hear about it--as long as you're listening.

During the recent redesign and launch of uic.edu, several sections were moved, removed, flipped, switched, shrunk and expanded. Our improvements were moment-to-moment, based on feedback via surveys, analytics, testing, email, in person and through mailing lists. We were able to turn around internal opinion and potential political incidents by responding quickly.

Similarly, during the most recent redesign of admissions.psu.edu, Penn State Admissions needed similar agility. In that case, close contact with front-line phone staff was key: we got news of problems as they happened and could adjust the site appropriately.

Lessons learned: be messy. Get it in front of people. Fail small. Adapt.

And thrive.

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