What I’m Building: Art and Art History Redesign: Part 5 Project Management: Identifying and collecting content.

What I’m Building: Art and Art History Redesign: Part 5 Project Management: Identifying and collecting content.

I have been leading a project to redesign Seattle University’s Art and Art History Department webpages.  I must admit that I have fallen woefully behind in keeping up with posting about this project. I finished the project in October! Previously I have written about Identifying the objectives, developing the new IA, page layout, and elements and content.  With all the templates designed and built out, it became time to start collecting the assets and content.  

Process: 

The very first step was to get organized.  I started by generating a large spreadsheet listing out each asset, or content piece that needed to be collected, written, or built. This master list would help me track all the individual items, build a timeline, and keep the team members apprised of our progress.  Once I identified all the pieces it was time to devise a timeline. We set the goal of having all of the content collected from the faculty by the end of a quarter, which gave us about 8 weeks to complete this phase of the project.  I divided the content into four groups: Degree pages content

  1. Degree Pages Content
  2. Student work Current student spotlights 
  3. Alumni spotlights and Classrooms and Galleries
  4. Innovative programs

Implementation:  

At a Faculty Meeting I introduced the concept of a sprint, showed them the templates.  Although these talented individuals are experts in their fields, and have the greatest knowledge about the “product” aka the majors, they are not necessarily adept in writing for the web.  I directed each person to try to keep their paragraphs to 70 words and never over 120 and pointed them to the usability.gov article writing for the web.  I created template document for each area (Visual Art, Photography, Art History, and Design) and gave them the current content from their site to get them started.  Finally, I included the reminder of the categories in the IA, indicating that they did not need to describe each program, but could link to further descriptions.  

On my end, I started tracking all the individual assets and where we were in the collection process. My spreadsheet started looking like this: 

Outcome:  

For the most part this was a successful implementation.  I did get back the template from the individuals, and was able to track the pieces.  If I had this to do over, I would send more reminders to the faculty.  I had only sent a single email at the beginning of each sprint, and therefore some of the faculty forgot, or fell behind.  Some of them skipped ahead, and gave me items out of sequence, which meant I did not get a chance to dictate the format that I needed, and therefore had to spend extra time formatting or extracting content. 

Next Steps: 

Finishing up and going live! 

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