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Content Strategy in Action: Taming a 5,000 Page Franken-site


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Learn how a band of fearless library professionals are ripping the guts out of their website using content strategy.

When we started this project in early 2014, the University of Arizona Libraries website was a monster—5,000 unwieldy web pages of outdated, irrelevant, and unfriendly content. After sorting through all of the squishy entrails captured in our content audit, we left the lab to learn about our users and stakeholders—their needs, expectations, and priorities. With data in hand, we decided what content to kill and bury, what could be resurrected, and how to focus our content efforts going forward.

We are now working with a dozen content managers to revamp the web pages they hold dear and make our content more human. To keep the beast at bay, we are creating a system of workflows, standards, and accountability and giving our managers the training and tools they need to be successful.

Presented by Rebecca Blakiston and Shoshana Mayden at edUi 2014 in Richmond, Virginia, September 30th.

Published in: Education
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Content Strategy in Action: Taming a 5,000 Page Franken-site

  1. 1. Content Strategy in Action Taming a 5,000 Page Franken-site Rebecca Blakiston User Experience Librarian Shoshana Mayden Web Content Strategist #edui_frankensite University of Arizona Libraries September 30, 2014
  2. 2. Rebecca Blakiston @blakistonr UX librarian Instructional designer Facilitator Project manager Mad user researcher Aspiring ethnographer Yogi
  3. 3. Shoshana Mayden @shosh1530 Writer Editor Environmental scientist Web content strategist Spreadsheet master Yogi
  4. 4. Our franken-site in a nutshell
  5. 5. Staff directory News & events Main Drupal site Hours Feedback form Databases Tutorials Digital collections Video contest Exhibits Interlibrary loan Library resource organizer Streaming Catalog Discovery tool Collections video Guides Exception slip FAQs Meet our franken-site
  6. 6. Where to even begin?
  7. 7. Project Redux refocus rework redo revitalize rebrand rebuild rethink reenergize redesign reorganize reenvision rearchitect redefine rewrite reconsider reconnect Re-Digital User eXperience
  8. 8. Franken-dux!
  9. 9. Goals 1. Content focused 2. Accessible 3. Usable 4. Findable 5. Familiar 6. Engaging 7. Understandable 8. Credible 9. Human
  10. 10. Principles & Plan 1. Do user research. 2. Get stakeholder feedback. 3. Define audience and primary tasks. 4. Get a grip on our content. 5. Content first, design second. 6. Integrate franken-parts into Drupal. 7. Make it easy & fun. 8. Provide workflows & training. 9. Only create what we can maintain. 10. Take the time to do it right.
  11. 11. We will evaluate every piece of content. We will not migrate content.
  12. 12. We will rip the guts out of our franken-site.
  13. 13. Talking to actual users
  14. 14. Focus groups
  15. 15. Open card sorting
  16. 16. Closed card sorting
  17. 17. Treejack
  18. 18. Survey
  19. 19. Personas The Monster Nicknames: Frankie Age: 6 months Major: Undeclared Lives: Dungeon off-campus Uses the library for: • Terrifying freshman • Quiet study space Challenges: • Tech novice • Afraid of fire
  20. 20. Story Development
  21. 21. What is that? Dissecting all the parts
  22. 22. Content Audit Questions
  23. 23. Content Audit Questions
  24. 24. We have a lot of content… 20% poor usability
  25. 25. Next Steps 25% not relevant
  26. 26. RIP: We’ve buried 100 pages so far!
  27. 27. Rewiring our monster
  28. 28. Content strategy
  29. 29. We champion student and faculty success by giving them access to the spaces, technology, collections and expertise needed for their research, teaching, studying and collaboration.
  30. 30. We will capture your ideas then send to all staff for a sort. helpful friendly reliable people-focused traditional unmoving fun Who we are fun
  31. 31. 45 staff members did our online sorting exercise now: knowledgeable friendly helpful academic customer-focused future: easy-to-use cutting-edge consistent engaging people-focused
  32. 32. exclusive static old school traditional quirky
  33. 33. funny? witty? cool? hip?
  34. 34. A ghastly example
  35. 35. databases are specialized search tools including: • library subscriptions • trial databases • open-access
  36. 36. wants to see popular databases wants to find databases in ecology wants to find maps & GIS data wants to see trial databases
  37. 37. Next steps…
  38. 38. Subject Dev Liaison Team Database Lead Content Strategist Workflows
  39. 39. Point People
  40. 40. Embracing the monster
  41. 41. strategic planning LibGuides Summon LibAnswers new web exhibits security updates new campus branding UA Mobile 2.0 organizational restructuring
  42. 42. incremental deployment
  43. 43.
  44. 44. usability testing
  45. 45. Coming in October…
  46. 46. Defining scope and prioritizing based on user impact
  47. 47. Letting go of perfection
  48. 48. Questions? Rebecca Blakiston @blakistonr Shoshana Mayden @shosh1530…….