At the end of October, I was watching tweets coming out of a UX webinar and saw this:
I thought it sounded great, so ran it by Web Committee that same week and we scheduled a sprint for the end of term. Boom. I love it when an idea turns into a plan so quickly!
We agreed that we needed common guidelines for editing the pages. I planned to point to an existing writing guide, but decided to draft one using examples from our own site.
I put together a spreadsheet of all the pages linked directly from the home page or navigation menus, plus all the pages owned by admin or by me. Subject guides and course guides were left out. The committee decided to start with content owned by committee members, rather than asking permission to edit other staff members’ content. We prioritized the resulting list of 57 pages (well, 57 chunks of content – some of those were Drupal “books” with multiple pages).
Seven of us got together on an early December afternoon (six in the room, one online from the East Coast). Armed with snacks, we spent 90 minutes editing and got through most of our top and mid-priority pages.
It was a very positive experience. We got a second set of eyes on content that may have only ever been looked at by one person. We were able to talk to each other to get feedback on clear and concise wording. And we saw pages that were already pretty good, which was a nice feeling too.
We’ve organized another sprint for reading week in February. We’re going to look at the top priority pages again, to see if we can make them even clearer and more concise.