University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Preparing Your Organization

The Digital Communications Transformation (DCT) maximizes our Web potential while reducing the effort required for Web communications.

Our vision for this project is:

  • Strategic: This change is based on research. The business plan takes into consideration both user and business needs.
  • Consistent: The new product will allow UB to stand out as a brand that provides quality content and a positive user experience.
  • Flexible: A wide variety of information needs has been accommodated. For example, options for several templates and a large variety of components have been developed for you to use for your website design. This allows you flexibility, depending on the needs of your department and your site visitors.
  • Sustainable: Our vision supports a range of ways, depending on the users’ needs and your ability to support them. You need to find a balance between the complexity of the site and the effort required to maintain it. The tools provided can help you to find the right balance.

The Project Roadmap

You will need to consider the following questions in creating your new website:

  • Where am I now? Assess the current state of your website. What information does it currently contain and what is the quality of the information? This is the Web content audit.   
  • Where do I want to be? Identify where you want your website to go; for example, what needs must your website achieve? What messages or information do you need your users to absorb? Talking with key stakeholders will help you develop a shared vision of what you want your final website to achieve. This is known as a business strategy.
  • Where do users want us to be? Consider the people who will be using your website—what are their needs? You may know what you want to tell them, but it is equally important to understand the needs of your audience, and how these needs might be very different from what you initially envisioned.
  • How do we get to where we BOTH want to go? Consider how to satisfy your needs and the needs of your audience.  You will also need to think about how you are going to get buy-in and support for this initiative within your department.

No matter the role you play in transforming your website, the DCT will provide you with:

  • best-practices in Web writing and design
  • shared content, resulting in less redundancy and more up-to-date information
  • insight into understanding and fulfilling your visitors’ needs
  • power to create and maintain websites with comparative ease
  • involvement in a Web community that is flexible, shared and supported
  • more time to implement strategic solutions rather than rushed decisions

This project will also result in a better experience for your Web users. Visitors can expect:

  • improved navigation
  • up-to-date, essential content
  • ability to perform the tasks that are important to them