St. Edward's University
Writing Center Website

Spring–Summer 2016

My roles: Content Strategy Lead, Information Architect, Copywriter (landing page and second-level pages)

 

Old Writing Center homepage (click to expand)

Problem

The St. Edward's University Writing Center website focused more on the intricacies of the appointment scheduler than on the experiences of students who might be new to the concept of a Writing Center (and these first-year students are the ones we most want to convert!). Additionally, the Online Writing Lab, a complementary service which served some of the same students and held the same goals but had separate administration, wasn't mentioned on the Writing Center website, which made for an incohesive experience for students and faculty. (The shouting headings didn't help, either.)


Solution—Part One

As coordinator of the Online Writing Lab, I joined forces with the Writing Center director and the university's user experience team to develop a new information architecture and tone for a comprehensive website where people could find information on all their options for writing help. The new site's homepage explains what the Writing Center is and why students might be interested in using it. Instructions for using the scheduler were moved off the homepage and into documents stored in the cloud and linked to from the "Make an Appointment" pages.

 

New Writing Center homepage (click to expand)

The user's options, presented cohesively (click to expand)

The first page on the menu, "Help for All Students," clearly delineates the four ways in which students can get writing help—including the services that used to be needlessly separated as the Online Writing Lab. An accordion structure allows users to choose which services they want to see more information about, rather than having potentially irrelevant details thrown at them.


Results

A few months after the merger of the website, an program merger—long overdue—was instigated. Essentially, the integrated website exemplified for stakeholders how streamlining information and joining forces would benefit the entire campus community.

As an integrated program inclusive of all writing support services on campus, the Writing Center can now begin to set common goals, determine KPIs, and assess whether the website is supporting those goals.