Over the past few months, our team and many other folks from the university, have felt fumigated with “strategy.”
We’ve had many long conversations that gave us excitement and energy, while other discussions left us with headaches and more questions.
Needless to say, the delivery of the Strategy Document from mStoner was a bright day for us—we hoped it would unlock all the mysteries behind designing and
building Bethel’s new site. But once we had the document in hand and spent time looking through it, we discovered that it
really held a lot of good stuff that Bethel already knew about itself and its
website. mStoner just found a way to put it all together.
The term strategy document is shorthand for a huge number of pages—68, plus a few appendixes—outlining lots of details and big-picture ideas about the
project, such as:
- Scope of the project
- Evaluation of our competitors
- Key messages to communicate through the web
- How our webpages will be organized
- Technical updates recommended for Silva (Bethel’s content management) and much more
Rather than having you dig through the entire document searching
for gold nuggets of strategy, we’ve pulled out some key areas to share with
1) What We Heard From You
They also spent hours in follow-up meetings by phone learning all they could about who Bethel is, what makes us distinct, and what our hopes
are for the new site.
In What We Heard From You (PDF), mStoner pulls together some big-picture
ideas for the project that they heard directly from the Bethel community. Take a look through to
see what they found—let us know if you think they’re on track with the three
main issues they plan to address.
2) Audience Overview
We know we have tons of people visiting our website and they’re
all coming for different reasons. mStoner uses this section to outline who is
spending time on our site and the most important things they expect to find.
Scan through their Audience Overview (PDF). Let us know if there’s anything major that’s missing. What are the most important things you do on Bethel’s site? What
audiences do you serve and what are they hoping to find?
3) Key Messages
Beyond meeting with people from all areas of Bethel, mStoner
spent time pouring through our publications, webpages, brochures, viewbooks,
postcards, and more to discover the core of Bethel. From their research, they uncovered some key messages and
themes that tie us together.
This is my favorite part of the strategy—for me, this is the heart of why I’m here doing the
work I do.
So take a few a few minutes to read through the Key Messages (PDF). Spend some time reflecting on what Bethel is all about—I hope you come away energized about being a part of this community.
4) Measuring Success
So how will we know if we’re on the right track? How will we
know if in the end we’ve got it right?
mStoner outlines some ways for Measuring Success (PDF)
along the way, such as testing how students through navigate websites or
getting together a focus group to talk about specifics of a design concept.
They also point to some tangible things that we can track
once our new site is up and running to give us an idea of how well
our new site is received—application numbers, growth in giving, increased
website traffic, and more.
To keep you from also becoming saturated with strategy, I’ll wrap
More is on the way as we ease out of this strategy phase and move into phase two. So peruse through
this info, pass it on to others, and share your thoughts.