Our group’s biggest action item for January was to finalize a list of content that will launch with the new website.
When Trinity’s new website goes live in August 2018, a large amount of content from the current version of the website (SharePoint) will be brought into the new site (WordPress), but not all of it can come at once. The job of addressing content to ensure its accuracy, relevance, and ability to fit into new design templates before August is too much to do all at once. Therefore, we’re pursuing a strategy that will bring over content in phases.
Two Sites, One Experience
A phased approach to launching content means that in practice we will be running two sites (new and old, WordPress and SharePoint) simultaneously. The two sites will be stitched together, which users will navigate as a single domain (www.trincoll.edu). Of course, users will experience differences in design depending on where they are in the site. For example, a user may set off on an information pathway from the homepage, and as they move around they may follow a link to an administrative office’s site that hasn’t been brought into WordPress. The user will land in the old design (SharePoint). Moving back and forth between WordPress and SharePoint will be seamless, save for the differences in design. Functionally it will be a seamless experience.
- A note for content editors: This does not mean content editors will be responsible for maintaining two sites. Either a site will be in WordPress or it will be in SharePoint, but not both. Training for site editing and maintenance will be part of the process to import content into WordPress.
The content slated for phase one was determined based on the goal of creating a cohesive information experience for our primary audience (prospective students) and supporting information critical for daily operations. This means that the entire content of these sites will be brought into the new site. It does not mean that sites still in SharePoint will be rendered invisible.
Collectively we have an opportunity to create a look, feel, and narrative that shows the best version of Trinity. To achieve this goal, we will adopt an 80/80 focus. At launch, the site will provide the majority (80%) of the content relevant to the majority (80%) of users’ needs as intuitively and as seamlessly as possible from the homepage.
Content list for launch
- Trinity Traditions
- Mission & History
- Visit Trinity
- Individualized Degree Program (IDP)
- Transfer Credit Information
- Majors and Minors (landing page)
- Three academic program/department sites (still TBD)
- Human Rights Program
- Study Away
- Career Development
- College Events
- Liberal Arts Action Lab
- Accessibility Resources
- Trinity at a Glance
- Contact Trinity
- Communications Office
- Office of the President
- College Leadership
To reiterate: Content (entire sites) slated for phase-one launch will undergo a comprehensive review and editing process in order to optimize them for the new website. This content production process will be done in close partnership with site owners.
Phases Two and Three
Phases two and three of content migration are targeted for roughly the end of each semester during 2018–19 academic year. While we have made a rough list of content that will migrate in each phase, the reality is that scheduling is contingent on each site owner’s schedule and capacity to dedicate time to partnering with the Communications Office on addressing their content and migrating it into the new WordPress site. We will be working with site owners to determine these schedules.
A final few words about how we are building information pathways for our site users:
Starting with the website’s new homepage, we are building a powerful and innovative tool to help users find information they want. Our charge is to give users the ability to see both the breadth of Trinity’s programs and personalities and depth of any specific area. This means surfacing information and telling stories that traditionally have existed deep in the vertical information structures of our website (a typical higher ed. website approach).
If a section of the site isn’t on the list for phase-one launch, it doesn’t mean it will lose visibility or it will miss out on the advantages that come with an exciting new website. Rather, we will be creating new landing spaces and transitional experiences that will improve users’ ability to find sites, programs, offices, and departments, regardless of whether they are in WordPress or waiting to move out of SharePoint. Our content-first approach to this project means that we are thinking hard about how to design a site that will prioritize what users want to know, not how we see ourselves in an org. chart.