Center for Genetics and Society
The Center for Genetics and Society had a wealth of content spread across two outdated websites and YouTube. The majority of their audience was going to the main site which consisted of aggregated news articles from outside sources. Meanwhile, on the blog they were publishing in-depth articles that were not getting noticed. Calling their internal content "blog posts" did not do them justice.
Snake Hill Web Agency led a group of discussion that addressed web strategy, utilizing assets and highlighting internal content. During discovery we developed some principles to drive the redesign:
- Create relationships between internally generated content and aggregated articles
- Put internal articles and authors at the forefront and stop calling them blog posts because they're really full fledged articles
- Adopt a magazine format with emphasis on the reading experience
The resulting design does all of this and more.
Website owners view things from their point of view. You see it all the time when websites put mission statements and organizational charts at front and center. We created a design that caters to the people visiting the site who are there for the rich content. It's not that the organization isn't important but putting great content first builds audience and strengthens how people perceive the organization.
Drupal 8 was a perfect fit for this project. The old website organized content by topic areas and by types of content. Organizing articles with topics was a perfect fit for Drupal's taxonomy system and content types are fundamental to structuring content in Drupal. Building on these inherent strengths we brought internally generated articles forward with a clean magazine format that invites reading and encourages users to dive into related articles and topics. When a reader pulls up aggregated content, a list of related internal articles show along side.
When a reader selects a related internal article we display it floating above the original article so the reader doesn't lose context. Social share links follow the user down the page as they scroll to read an article.
Linking is at the heart of HTML. How content gets linked determines its effectiveness as web content. Their are some simple guidelines for web authors and editors to follow.
- Be generous with outside sources but think carefully when sending users off site
- If you do send users offsite, use a new tab or window
- Always hyperlink to sources
- Link to support content
To highlight contributors, we link them to their profiles with their bibliography listed below. This allows readers to easily reference more articles by that writer. With the exception of the home page and special content areas, the most recent articles are displayed first. With a website focused on science, timeliness is important. All content is linked to matching topic areas and we include a nested list of topics under the search menu so users can see articles by topic or subtopic.