With 2016 stretched out before us, it’s time to start filling in those little boxes on the calendar with conferences that offer incredible opportunities for learning, networking, and knowledge sharing among folks from colleges and universities around the world. In 2016, higher education marketers, content strategists, and communication professionals need to make sure these conferences are on their calendars. We’ll see you there!
What's new, what's next, what's best, and how it all fits in to a successful digital marketing strategy… Get inside our head with these helpful resources—from blog posts to best practices guides—written by our team of experts.
When you embark on a responsive web design project, you’ll be spending a lot of time looking at how designs resolve from one browser experience to another, and wireframing layouts across devices. But you should also devote a hefty amount of time to examining and planning your content.
As colleges and universities seek to improve their websites and the prospective student journey, the push toward a responsive website and a “mobile first” approach usually top the list. To help university marketing departments better understand mobile trends for higher education websites, we’ve compiled benchmark data collected over the past year.
As Brain Traffic represents in their content strategy quad, half of what makes content strategy happen comes down to people -- that means workflow and governance. Brain Traffic defines workflow as the which “processes, tools, and human resources are required for content initiatives to launch successfully and maintain ongoing quality.” Within workflow, there are roles and responsibilities defined to help the process move along smoothly.
When it comes to websites, we can make a lot of things. But how do we know if they’re successful? And how do we define success? That’s where developing a measurement plan comes into play, and that’s what we will discuss in this third installment of our “fountain of youth” series.
One of the great things about working with so many higher education institutions on website redesigns is having a uniquely shaped knowledge about the issues they face as a whole. When considering key factors that play into a higher education website redesign, we’ve found a number of common challenges emerge regardless of institution size, geography, student population, or religious affiliation. A typical challenge is a disconnected brand across the website, particularly when multiple schools or campuses are represented.
Often we hear from software company CEOs and product managers intent on making user experience a top priority. They’re always really excited by the idea of improving their UX and we completely understand. In fact, we get excited too – user experience is what we do.
Our first step is starting a conversation with them to map out the possibilities and process for improving their product:
Best Practices Guide: How to Use Real-Time Website Content Personalization to Increase Engagement and Drive Results
Websites have long been “one size fits all” experiences, but as marketers have found more effective ways to leverage user data and tools have become increasingly sophisticated, web experiences have come a long way.
Despite the seemingly annual proclamation that email has finally met its demise, the fact is email remains an effective tool for communication and customer relationship management. It is almost forty times better for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter and 68% of consumers would tell you that it is their first-choice preferred channel for receiving commercial messages.
#makeitawesome: The College of Engineering at Northeastern University Launches New Responsive Design Website
If you’ve checked out our client list lately, you know we have tons of experience creating websites for colleges and universities across the country, from California all the way to our own backyard in Cambridge. But it’s always especially cool when we work with higher education institutions from which some of us happen to be alumni.
User experience and design are nebulous practices for many software CEOs. They know they want to improve the look of their product, but they don’t know who to hire or what to do to achieve results.
Some CEOs hire freelance visual designers who ultimately don’t quite understand the business and produce beautiful designs that are hard to execute. Others hire consultants with an IT focus and UX speciality, but these guys don’t make it beautiful.
In its second year, the Confab Higher Ed conference -- organized by Brain Traffic, the firm owned by content strategy pioneer Kristina Halvorson -- yielded another stellar lineup, with the most frequently heard complaint being the tough choice between sessions in a given block.
Over the past 7 years, we've interviewed, surveyed, and run focus groups with hundreds of prospective students. We've learned how they research and engage with colleges and universities. We've also tracked and documented their customer journey from first point of contact through application, admission, and matriculation.
In this video, I'll quickly cover the basic journey and digital touchpoints through the campus visit. The findings can be applied to any typical, residential undergraduate program. In our research, the needs for this persona are amazingly consistent.
Based on 7 years of research with prospective students, we've developed a clear set of features and functions that prospective graduate students are looking for on degree webpage. We've also designed and tested these pages across devices and generated a list of best practices. In this super quick video, we'll layout the highlights of this research and best practices. For a great example, check out the program pages at Norwich University Online or read up on their strategy.
Our work is built around facts: budgets, deliverables, schedules, and requirements. But we can’t ignore the softer side of our work: feelings.
A surprising amount of the work that we do is bound up in feelings. To create effective web experiences and processes, we can’t help but consider the emotional impact of our decisions, whether it’s the phrasing of a call to action, creating a content workflow in the CMS, or assigning a staff member a new responsibility.
Understanding Medicare can be challenging, even for healthcare professionals. It’s an extremely complex system with lots of moving pieces, obscure nomenclature, and overly complicated parts, options, and payment structures. Finding answers to questions, even on the medicare.gov website, is quite challenging and leaves users frustrated and perplexed. But, the Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred site is changing the way insurer websites educate their visitors.
When helping clients optimize their websites, we’re often asked about hash symbols in URLs and how they affect SEO. Are they ignored by Google? How should they be used? The answer is…well, it depends. Here’s a quick explanation:
A hash sign (#) in a URL is referred to as a fragment. Historically, URL fragments have been used to automatically set the browser’s scroll position to a predefined location in the web page. In that sense, if a URL refers to a document, then the fragment refers to a specific subsection of that document.
If you’re hanging out at the OHO office, one thing you’re sure to notice is a few of us working while listening to … something. Sometimes we’re tapping feet to a beat, but a lot of the time we’re listening to the latest edition of our favorite podcast. Here’s a list of podcasts we like, representing a range of interests, from responsive web design and digital strategy to user experience and Drupal development.
Team OHO represented at this year’s HighEdWeb conference, hosted for the first time in Portland, Oregon. When we weren’t busy putting birds on things, we attended sessions and learned what some of the smartest folks in higher ed were up to. In short? They’re busy being human. To wit: