Content Strategy Recommendations
Research has shown that the non-academic aspects of student life play a huge role in attracting a prospective student, encouraging them to enroll, maintaining a satisfying experience while a student, and loyalty after graduation. The purpose of the Student Life section of the Kent State University website is to support students’ needs and desires outside of class. The Student Life and Campus Safety sections of the site are currently not well organized: a patchwork of links, images, and sections that could do a better job of meeting site visitors’ expectations.
We identified the four top-priority audiences for this section of the site:
- new undergraduate students
- Parents of students
- Current on-campus undergraduates
- Online graduate students
Based on observation and research, we found that these audiences had many needs and goals in common. We created a persona for each of these groups that summarized these desires. The following is a summary of the kinds of content that would resonate with these people.
University Business goals
Kent State Student Life program staff feel over worked and short of time. The technical side of managing the CMS is more time-consuming than it should be. They also are not necessarily writers or editors. They have very little time to actually post and manage content—most of their day is spent managing the student programs.
- Connect students with clubs and student organizations across different sub sites
- Communicate commitment to safety
- Support, communication, and training from the IT department
- A simple to use CMS that they are familiar with, no changes
- Knowing what content is most popular, and highlighting it
- Having a regular schedule for new content, a content management policy
- Page profiles or templates for safety alerts and a way to post them as timely notifications
- Know how to implement accessibility
- Integration with other sections of the KSU web site
- Information organization. Students and parents both are busy and trying to multitask, but for different reasons. They should be treated as if they have attention deficits. Many of the students actually do suffer from ADHD and are sensitive to information overload. Home page layouts should be minimalist and have a simple, uncluttered feel. Highlight priority items without distractions from secondary items.
- Safety alerts. Students and parents are very concerned about security. Web editors should have discussions with IT about how to post timely and regular safety updates to the site.
- Content silos. Editors should be able to populate content across different sections of the larger site. Technology should make this simpler, not more complex.
- Content calendar. Make it clear where content is coming from and when. There could be regular schedules for each type of content to be posted so a program manager knows what to expect.
- Analytics. Content editors should have access to analytics so they know what pages are most popular, and get feedback so they know how to make important business content more visible.
Project produced while a student project at Kent State University UXD program.
The Persona Experience Framework is by Brand Therapy.