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Collaborate, create, curate, and cut the crap | #econfpsu16 #econfpsu


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Session from Penn State Elements Conference, June 13, 2016.

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Collaborate, create, curate, and cut the crap | #econfpsu16 #econfpsu

  1. 1. Collaborate, create, curate, and cut the crap Elements: the Web Conference at Penn State June 13, 2016 Heather Russell Lisa Richards with Tyler Poole
  2. 2. The Tiny Team We are part of a campus administrative unit that supports and guides the New York State extension system. Heather Russell - Tech Lisa Richards - Content Tyler Poole – Design (1/2 time, contract)
  3. 3. A partnership between federal, state, and county governments, Cornell University and the citizens of New York State What is Cornell Cooperative Extension ?
  4. 4. Informal education system Presence in every corner of New York State Programs are research-based & community driven
  5. 5. Defined as subordinate governmental agencies organized under a form of operation approved by Cornell University as agent for the state Where we are Over 50 county offices plus the 5 boroughs of NYC operate independently
  6. 6. We (administration) are the nearly-invisible hub in the middle… …and our job is to showcase the extension programming and activity around the state and on campus
  7. 7. Let’s Talk Web Content - Decentralized - Inconsistent - LOTS of it, not always in an easy format for web Tech - SharePoint (ugh) Design - No design expertise on staff - Design by committee Process - Just us - We’re also doing everything else - Support, but very little interest from management * * We need to have a site. The site needs to say the right things (what are those?). The site needs to not be broken or embarrassing. Oh, and by the way can you add this random link/resource/PDF to a page I pay attention to?
  8. 8. CCE Website 2009
  9. 9. CCE Website 2015
  10. 10. • Everyone wanted their important thing on the home page • Add Twitter – so content seems updated • Not responsive, looked awful on phone • Not accessible, never was a consideration • 190 pages • No direction – lots of random content • No people listed, anywhere • Old site was web transition from print • Who makes updates? Only Lisa. • Internal content • Too much content, old content • No focus – why do we have a site? • No audience specified • Too many words (academic speak) • …
  11. 11. Web Environment at Cornell • Decentralized • Drupal • Cornell redesign • Outreach highlighted • New web insignia
  12. 12. We Need a Redesign
  13. 13. Our challenge • Define the purpose of the public website • Agree on our audience • Understand who we are – nobody • Align new content structure to something concrete • Cut the crap – hundreds of outdated pages, old fact sheets (PDFs), very disorganized • Make visually appealing, accessible, responsive
  14. 14. Who is our audience? (We asked. We got a lot of answers.) Faculty members Deans Elected officials Staff (campus and county) Educators Prospective donors Association boards of directors Volunteers Students Program participants Job seekers
  15. 15. What do they have in common? • They are all just regular people • Who need and want easily digestible, web-friendly content
  16. 16. Who needs to approve? Do we need to design by committee again?
  17. 17. What content can we provide? • County associations provide program content on their sites • Best way to define CCE? 5 Program Areas • No programmatic content (CCE Admin = invisible) • Stories, events – from counties • People • Direct out to county sites whenever possible
  18. 18. How to bring in content CURATE.
  19. 19. Drupal : Information Architecture
  20. 20. Design
  21. 21. CCE Website 2015
  22. 22. Success!
  23. 23. Future • Web is ever-changing • Site changes are never-ending • Better positioned to make changes – – Bigger team – More respect – Accepted technology – Cornell links to site, profile is raised
  24. 24. Takeaways • Figure out who your audience is – why are we doing this? • Know what your content is – remember you’re the expert • Learn your environment, find a few key supporters and take initiative
  25. 25. QUESTIONS? Heather Russell – Lisa Richards – Tyler Poole – @ccecornell