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Building a new university website an agile content case study

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At the University of Bath, the digital products and services we work on aren’t one-off projects – they’re live and need constant improvement and maintenance. To meet this challenge we use an
Agile approach to content design and development.

12 months into our programme of work to build a new website, I’ll talk you through our successes, share the challenges we’ve faced and explain how we overcame them.

Published in: Education

Building a new university website an agile content case study

  1. 1. Building a new university website - an Agile content case study UPDATED JUNE 2016 IWMW16
  2. 2. My name’s Rich, I’m Head of Digital at the University of Bath where I lead a multi-disciplinary team of editors, designers and developers responsible for bath.ac.uk. For the past ten years, I have led on digital content efforts at top-ranking English universities. Most recently I have led an ambitious programme to transform the University’s digital marketing and communications platforms. Co-founder of Bath’s first content meet up. I regularly talk about my experience of adopting an Agile approach to content development, Content Strategy and User Experience design. Hello
  3. 3. Goals, principles and outcomes
  4. 4. 4 Content design and development goals Deliver a single, unified digital presence by transitioning bath.ac.uk to a new publishing platform and website
  5. 5. Ross Ferguson: Delivering a digital strategy for the University of Bath • Put users’ needs first • Make decisions based on data • Release iteratively and often • Keep things simple and consistent • Provide ongoing support • Work in the open Bath’s digital delivery principles 5
  6. 6. Outcomes • Easier to navigate and find information • Content is relevant and useful • Quicker for visitors to complete tasks • Build a publishing community • Share standards and structure • Deliver a sustainable website 6
  7. 7. Agile approach and mindset
  8. 8. AtBathweapplyAgiletechniques totheplanning,creation,and governanceofdigitalcontent
  9. 9. Product development Test Iteration 1 Iteration 2 Iteration 3 Deliver Sprint 1 Sprint 2 Deliver DiscoverTest DesignDevelop DesignDevelop Discover Deliver DesignDevelop DiscoverTest Agile 9
  10. 10. Agileisamindset,notjustasetof toolsandprocesses 10
  11. 11. An Agile mindset • Stay focused on what’s important • Learn through doing • Listen to others • Keep themselves and others honest • See failure as opportunity 11
  12. 12. What did we do well?
  13. 13. new bath.ac.uk Example of content organised by department http:// www.bath.ac.uk/departments/international-relations- office Example of content organised by topic http:// www.bath.ac.uk/collections/worldwide/ 13
  14. 14. new bath.ac.uk Example of a guide by http://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/ applying-to-study-at-bath-as-a-visiting-student/ 14
  15. 15. What should we have done better?
  16. 16. Ross Ferguson: Delivering a digital strategy for the University of Bath • Put users’ needs first • Make decisions based on data • Release iteratively and often • Keep things simple and consistent • Provide ongoing support • Work in the open Back to Bath’s playbook 16
  17. 17. The original implementation of the Person profile content type 17 Put users’ needs first and make decisions based on data
  18. 18. User research now built into the development process
  19. 19. 359 content items are currently published, 1254 are in review 19 Release iteratively and often
  20. 20. Transition content based on user journeys
  21. 21. 21 Keep things simple and consistent http://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/the-quads-student-accommodation/
  22. 22. One user need per content item
  23. 23. Agileisn’tacure-all 23
  24. 24. Lessons learnt
  25. 25. • Build products not projects • Flex our approach depending on user need • Scalable way of working • Helps to develop people’s skills • Breaks down siloed working practices • Produces self-facilitating teams Agile and Bath’s playbook work 25
  26. 26. WhatwouldItellmypastself aboutAgile?"Tryit,you’llthank yourfutureself." 26
  27. 27. Q&A
  28. 28. Talk At the University of Bath, the digital products and services we work on aren’t one-off projects – they’re live and need constant improvement and maintenance. To meet this challenge we use anAgile approach to content design and development. 12 months into our programme of work to build a new website, I’ll talk you through our successes, share the challenges we’ve faced and explain how we overcame them. Building a new university website - an Agile content case study

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