HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

A Brief Trip Through Content Strategy

PST Poster Sessions Track

Texas Ballroom 1-3


In 2009, the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, along with University Communications and IT, embarked on a multi-year project to change how we "do" our websites. Instead of the usual new coat of paint, this project re-examined all assumptions and practices from the very start. Employing practices from Kelly Goto's "Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow that Works", Indi Young's "Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior", Kristina Halvorson's "Content Strategy for the Web" and other best practices, we designed new websites with information architectures and content strategies that align with our audience's mental model-identified tasks. In producing the actual sites, we implemented Halvorson's practices to build out the content. Page tables, in particular, proved invaluable to writers and content experts in keeping content aligned with audience tasks. As a result of this project, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences employs content strategy on a daily basis in the ongoing development and migration of existing sites. This presentation will trace the development of a web page through the entire process, from content audit to production. The role of stakeholder interviews, best practice review, a business case, mental models, wireframing, usability, information architecture, content strategy steps along the way will be included.