Next Step Navigation [CASE V]

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Institutional websites today rarely lack in content. But our sites are so big that even the greatest content can quickly get lost in long navigation lists and buried pages.

What can you do to make sure the most important actions, stories, and information for your users are at their fingertips?

Discuss how to extend the exposure of actions, news, profiles, and social content throughout your site by naturally including the next steps users should take to stay on the site. We will cover:
- Identifying primary and secondary content - Building a content categorization strategy
- Understanding content types
- Designing a page to promote action and stickiness

By the end of the session, you will know how to flatten your site to give a visitor a more robust experience.

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  • Definition: anticipation of what the user wants on the site after completing primary action. Talk a lot about categorization. It is the framework of a Next Step Navigation strategy
  • I have been on both the vendor side and university side. Understand that all sites center around one thing: user experience.
  • You have to understand the primary focus of your site, which is centered around moving the relationship forward with the site visitor. Build your site around what information your users want and what you want them to do.Bank of America allows its visitors the convenience of online banking. Primary actionGoogle, although they are doing a ton more now, are still primarily a search engine.
  • At the end of the session, have a plan to better serve your site visitors. Give them the unexpected.
  • This is not a ‘dabble’ philosophy. A categorization plan involves organization. It involves content tracking and management.
  • Older quote from Gerry McGovern, web content management guru. New book focuses on fulfilling user needs. Understand what a user wants and how you can solve their problem.You heard this yesterday from Jim Kane. It’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for them.New Thinking: weekly newsletter from Gerry.
  • I don’t like showing bad examples in higher education, but you need to see the progression.COCC: dead end. You got your information and that’s about it. Now use your back button if you want moreTTU: Too many options. They categorize the links well, but this feels like yahoo’s home page. Categorized, but throws everything at the user.DU: Focus on actions, then on secondary options.
  • You have categorization in place. It’s now time to know what the next steps are for the users. You’ve seen examples where we are pulling in related content and navigation. How do we know.We go to our analytics
  • They are looking for relevance. Hopefully, they are coming from some sort of push marketing, so they are driven to do something, but you can’t control that. Your job is to move the relationship forward.
  • Content is not king, the USER is. They choose when to hang up on you. Your job is to engage them. Go the extra mile to fulfill their needs.
  • #1 goal is to make sure the primary actions are fulfilled.If they are fulfilled, what do they do after completion?If they aren’t fulfilled, what are they doing instead of completing the action?
  • Look for your most popular pages and paths to determine where your users are spending time.Track your actions as goals, then see the paths and the bounce rates from these pages. Let them tell you what your users are doing after they complete a big action.What labels are site visitors using to find content on your site?
  • Next step navigation is relational.Every content element needs a homeEvery content element needs a navigation strategy
  • Start with the obvious. Be consistentTrain authorsCentralize content categorization process
  • Navigation is business relatedLinks are business relatedNews is business related
  • We use Excel to do this, but content management systems allow this as well. Focus on every piece of content you manageProbably one person in charge of this per site.
  • Use this as meta information for pages as well. - Use RSS for news and events, and profiles- Automate your page templates to pull these in.
  • Several entry points and content types for Campus Life.Events, photos/features, base content, actions…all related
  • On the home page, integration of social content. Use tagging to take this one step further to mix this throughout the site.
  • Build a platform to allow for secondary navigation and features
  • Content is only half of the story. As you look at design for web in higher education, it focuses on flexibility
  • Know what you have to put on the page. Break pages up into types and allow flexible elements to grow the closer to the top of the site.
  • Next Step Navigation [CASE V]

    1. 1. Follow the 2010 CASE V Conference on Twitter#CASEV<br />Next Step Navigation<br />Communications and Web Track sponsored by Alumni Magnet<br />
    2. 2. @ehodgso<br /><ul><li>Higher education web for 10 years
    3. 3. Consulting and implementation background
    4. 4. University of Iowa Foundation</li></li></ul><li>Two Guiding Principles<br />Web sites are built for visitors<br />Web sites are built for a purpose<br />bankofamerica.com | google.com<br />
    5. 5. Key Takeaways<br />Anticipate user next steps<br /><ul><li>Build a content categorization strategy</li></ul>Understand content types<br />Design a page to promote stickiness<br />
    6. 6. Why go to the trouble?<br />Photoby Bert Werk via Flickr<br />
    7. 7. “The Web is a selfish place. People don’t have time. They scan pages looking for something specific. Most people have absolutely no interest in links such as ‘What We Do’ and ‘Who We Are’. They only care about what you can do for them.”<br /><ul><li>Gerry McGovern</li></li></ul><li>The Ugly, The Bad, and The Good<br />www.cocc.edu | www.ttu.edu | www.du.edu<br />
    8. 8. Anticipate their needs<br />Photoby James Cridland via Flickr<br />
    9. 9. User Experience<br />Assume every visit is the user’s first<br />Assume the user knows nothing about you<br />Photobywsimmons via Flickr<br />
    10. 10. User Experience<br />Their browser, their rules<br />They have one task in mind<br />Photoby Al Power via Flickr<br />
    11. 11. Site Analytics<br />The more clicks, the more data<br />Path tracking<br />Continual site improvement<br />Photobymuir.ceardach via Flickr<br />
    12. 12. Popularity contest<br />Pages<br />Actions<br />Keywords<br />Let them tell you <br />
    13. 13. Content categorization<br />Photobydfulmer via Flickr<br />
    14. 14. Categories<br />NavigationAcademics, About, Admissions, Development…<br />AudiencesFuture students, Current students, Parents, Faculty and staff…<br />ActionsApply, Visit campus, Give, Register…<br />PhotobyMyklRoventine via Flickr<br />
    15. 15. www.champlain.edu<br />
    16. 16. Content inventory<br />Page title<br />Content categories<br />Page owners/authors<br />Parent page<br />Navigation structure<br />Renewal plan<br />Photoby (nutmeg) via Flickr<br />
    17. 17. Content types to categorize<br />Marketing<br />News and events<br />Actions<br />Photos and videos<br />Profiles<br />Navigation <br />Social Content<br />
    18. 18. www.utexas.edu<br />
    19. 19. www.iue.edu<br />
    20. 20. Design for stickiness<br />Photoby Tjflex2 via Flickr<br />
    21. 21. Design Principles<br />Stacked layout<br />Flexible content areas<br />Scan ability<br />Photoby Mike Rohde via Flickr<br />
    22. 22. Wireframes<br />Templates<br />Home page<br />Sectional page<br />Content page<br />Specialty pages<br />Wireframe elements<br />Page minimums<br />Navigation structure<br />Content types<br />Flexible elements<br />
    23. 23. www.fiu.edu<br />
    24. 24. www.bu.edu<br />
    25. 25. www.okwu.edu<br />
    26. 26. Getting started<br />Set categories for all content<br />Train your authors<br />Document your activities<br />Photoby Phil Gyford via Flickr<br />
    27. 27. Today’s session evaluations will be e-mailed to you.<br />Session handouts are available at <br />www.casefive.org/conference/presentations/<br />Username: CASEV_attendee | Password: Chicago<br />Follow the 2010CASE V Conference on Twitter@CASE_DistrictV. Use the #CASEV hashtag when you tweet!<br />

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