Now that the new county designs have launched, it’s time to focus on filling out content for your county’s focus areas. Here are some tips to get you started. Also, if you’re in Eastern Oregon, the web team is coming your way for a training this week (see more at the end of this blog post).

1. Review some examples

  • View a mockup of a local focus area at the end of this post. Includes annotations.
  • Review examples of county pages using the redesign and new focus areas: Tillamook county and Washington county. From the county page, click “What we do” in the county’s navigation. Items under “Highlights” are focus areas. We appreciate these county’s help with testing their current content in the new designs!

2. Choose user-friendly titles

When writing a title for your focus area, we recommend:

  • User-friendly titles: Use terms that are general and understandable for people unfamiliar with OSU Extension. Avoid using program names and internal jargon when possible.
  • Encouraging action: Show people how they can become involved (e.g., use “Preserve food at home” instead of “Food preservation”).
  • Concise titles: If a desired focus area is too big to use a simple phrase because it includes too many topics, it should probably be broken into multiple focus areas.

Here are some examples:

  • Activities for youth
  • Caring for your forestland
  • Grow your gardening skills
  • Start or grow your small farm
  • Preserve food at home

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like some help identifying focus area titles or how to organize content to fit within focus areas.

3. Select which types of local focus area

There are three options for focus areas:

  • 1) Display a custom page: this includes a place to add information about the local context, related resources, contact info, etc. See mockup at end of this blog post for an example.

Or, link to existing content:

  • 2) Link to a local program (for 4-H or MG): Links will take visitors directly to the landing page for that local program (i.e. Benton County 4-H).
  • 3) Link to an existing focus area in another county: if you would like to display a focus area that has been added by a different county (e.g. for a regional focus area), select it here. Links will take user directly to that focus area.

Select which desired option under “How to display” when creating a local focus area.

4. Create or edit a focus area

Read last week’s blog post for training materials to get started on creating or editing your focus areas.

The following focus areas have been or will been created for you:

  • Any content that is currently within county sub-pages. We’ll transition this content to focus areas for you.
  • 4-H and Master Gardener: These have been added. They link directly to county program pages (e.g., Gilliam County 4-H)
  • Gardening: A template for gardening is being developed.

You can change the order of focus areas on the ‘What we do’ page and select which three to include on the county landing page.

New locations for content in new design

County programs & local focus areas
Three focus areas are set to display on the county landing pages. The ‘What we do’ page also includes:

  • All focus areas: listed under the  ‘Highlighted’ heading.
  • Programs offered: Include all programs on the OSU Extension site that have been tagged with your county. See what is a program on the OSU Extension website.

Links to the ‘What we do’ page are in your county’s navigation. Links to 4-H and Master Gardener can now be found with focus areas.

Social media & newsletters
When the content is for:

  • The county as a whole (e.g., county newsletter): These go in the orange quick link bar on the county landing page.
  • A particular topic or program (e.g., Eastern Oregon Gardening Newsletter): These go in the orange quick link bar on the relevant local focus areas. County Master Gardener and 4-H social media are already part of local program pages, but can also be added to relevant focus areas.

We recommend using announcements to promote new newsletter issues.

County subpages
Content that is currently in county subpages will be transitioned to local focus areas by EESC. If we aren’t sure how to make the content fit, we’ll work with you to find a solution.

Eastern Oregon website trainings this week

You are invited to attend in-person trainings in Eastern Oregon this week:

  • Malheur County office on Wed., April 24: 10am-noon, lunch break, then continues 1-3pm. If anyone wants more personal, hands on instruction, contact Bobbi Howell.
  • Union County office on Thurs., April 25: 10am-noon, lunch break, then continues 1-3pm. If anyone wants more personal, hands on instruction, contact Sherry Nantz.

The trainings will focus on using the new county page designs. Please bring your questions and a laptop if possible, so we can work with you on your county pages. For questions about the location or accommodation, please contact Bobbi Howell (Malheur County) or Sherry Nantz (Union County). For questions related to the training, contact Bryan Mayjor or Victor Villegas.

Getting help

  • Attend our office hours starting April 26th on Tuesdays and Fridays. Visit by WebEx, in person or by phone.
  • As always, you are welcome to contact us if you have a question or suggestion.

Mockups & a shout out

A shout out to Carrie Berger and the forestry team for the awesome content they developed for county subpages! This content provided an inspiration and starting place for the focus area mockups below.

Focus area mockup with annotations.
Click mockup to view larger version.

Focus area mockup.
Click mockup to view larger version.

The updated designs provide a way to share and highlight what OSU Extension does within our counties and helps to:

  • Provide a landing spot for local relationships: These pages provide a place where people can find what is offered in their county and learn the local context of programs and other county offerings.
  • Provide guidance for finding resources: These pages provide ways to help users visiting county pages find educational resources on the OSU Extension website.
  • Decrease duplicate content entry: When one faculty member works in multiple counties, focus areas provide a way for them to enter county or region specific information about a topic or program. This info can then be shared on other relevant counties.
  • Prioritize local content: Local events and announcements will be given priority. They will display before and display separate from other tagged events (e.g., other events you might be interested in).

What is coming this week

  • County landing pages: We updated the county designs based on your feedback and posted the new county designs.
  • Local focus area content: County offices can highlight what you do in your county and share the local context. See below for an example.
  • What we do page: This page displays a list of local focus areas and programs offered in this county.
  • County events: There will be a new events page to display all county related events. And ways to highlight a few upcoming events on county landing page and on focus areas.

Please keep in mind design modifications will remain an iterative process. Expect the look and feel to evolve, the functionality to be fine-tuned.

Shout outs

Thank you to Amy Schmid, Jenifer Halter and Laurie Gibson for working with us last week to help us test out county content in the new county designs.

How to prepare

  • Review new county designs and think about any content you need to create.
  • Find or take a photo of your county office to help people find your building. This will display with the county contact info.
  • See training options below.
  • County group coordinators, keep an eye out for an email from us this week when the changes and new features are live and ready for you to use.

Training

  • Watch video on how to create local focus areas.

Visit our new user guide to learn:

Getting help and providing feedback

  • Contact us to schedule one-on-one help sessions
  • Attend office hours. Our team will be available for weekly office hours after the new county designs launch.
  • As always, you are welcome to contact us if you have a question or suggestion.

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your feedback and challenges related to the county pages and the site as a whole. Please continue to share any feedback on how these changes are working for your counties and teams.

Examples of new county page designs

Example county landing page

Example focus area

UPDATE: Designs were updated April 10, 2019 based on your feedback. Thanks for your input!

We gave a sneak-peak of the new county landing page design at the Extension Annual Conference during Tuesday morning’s “Ask the Experts About the New Extension Website” session. See design below.

In January on your county’s landing page (homepage), you will be able to add a large hero image, background photos or shading, and calls to action. You can add a ‘quick links bar’ featuring four links to social media, events, newsletters, etc. Also highlight priority county/local programs, activities and resources.

Below is an example of Yamhill County that shows different design features you can apply. Think about how your current content will best fit into this style and where you need to write some text or find some photos.

Full details on how to create this look will be provided when design elements are ready on the live website. Please send us questions or what you think about the new designs!

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your feedback at the Extension Annual Conference. And thank you for your continued hard work to create and add content to the website.  We know this process isn’t always easy or straight forward. Together, we are making good progress! The website is growing as a place where Oregonians can come and easily find the amazing content you create and provide. We appreciate your hard work in making this site awesome!

Design with annotations

This is the design for large screens (desktop). Note: The wider you make your browser, the larger you will see the design. View full-sized annotated design.

Design without annotations

View full-sized design.

Check out the updated timeline and milestones for the Extension web upgrade project. This will give you a high-level overview of what’s happening with the project–and when.

Project work continues at full throttle, but much of what’s happened to date has been behind-the-scenes planning, research, and early development. We’ve been working on things like server configuration. Super exciting, right? Probably not so much for you. So we didn’t blog about all those details.

Now, the development work and content strategy planning will shift and start to be a little more concrete and visual. In the coming months, we’ll keep sharing status updates via this project blog.

How does this project and timeline affect my site?
Not sure what this means for your site? Review the FAQs.
We will continue to consult with individual site managers, as needed.

Questions?
Please contact the project team. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

Are you wondering what’s happening with the OSU Extension web upgrade project? Hang in there — we are recalibrating — and will have more news soon, including updated milestones and timeline.

Worth waiting for
There is some cool stuff coming down the pipeline that will make this project better in the long run, including:

  • New OSU brand
  • New Extension sub-brand (expected early fall)
  • New OSU and/or Drupal calendar–a priority feature for the project (expected summer)
  • Drupal 8.4–includes web development features essential to this project (expected summer)

We’re hiring
An important part of completing this project is filling a key vacancy on EESC’s web and content strategy team. Here’s the job posting for the web developer position. Please share!

Questions?
Please contact the project team. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

Project timeline
In consultation with Extension administration, we have adjusted the timeline for Phase 1 milestones from late January to late March 2017. Project work continues at full throttle, to enable delivery of an excellent new user-focused, data-informed web presence and initial content strategy, as planned.

Not sure what this means for your site? Review the FAQs.

Content audit
We audited content on the main OSU Extension website — and identified and prioritized content for Phase 1 based on the project’s guiding criteria.

People/locations directory
We’ve made good progress toward priority features for the people/locations directory. Thanks to Denise Ashley for partnering with us on the current data while we develop the new directory. As usual, please send any updates for the Find Us faculty and staff directory to Denise.

What’s next
– Continue development work on priority features, including the people/locations directory.
– Continue development of initial user-friendly tags/categories.
– Design initial wireframes for page layouts. We will share examples and mockups in the coming weeks.

Questions?
Please contact the project team. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

The project team continues to make good progress on several Phase 1 milestones in the OSU Extension web upgrade project.

Identify/confirm contacts
Site managers and decision makers have been identified for each site. We appreciate your help!

Features & functions
In our last post, you learned we identified and prioritized features for development during Phase 1.  We have started development on selected features, starting with the people/locations directory.

Content strategy
On the “Learn with us” page on the project blog, we’ve added additional resources we’ve found useful in exploring, understanding, and applying content strategy. We invite you to learn alongside the project team. Check these out, and let us know your thoughts!

What’s next

  • Continue to develop Phase 1 features.
  • Continue to identify initial user-friendly tags/categories.
  • Continue to audit and prioritize content for main OSU Extension site, Phase 1.

Learn more
Visit the OSU Extension web upgrade project blog for more project details. Please contact the project team with any questions. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

In the past month, the project team has made good progress on several Phase 1 milestones in the OSU Extension web upgrade project.

Identify/confirm contacts
We compiled existing information on website contacts. Beginning Oct. 21, we will email current website contacts with a request to confirm or update the site manager and decision maker for each site. The relevant Regional Administrator or Program Leader will be copied.

Preliminary development
We have a Drupal 8 dev site (test site) set up for the new OSU Extension main web presence.

Identify essential features/functions/content
We identified and prioritized features for development during Phase 1. Decisions were made based on the project’s guiding criteria.

Content strategy
We invite you to learn alongside the project team. The new “Learn with us” page on the project blog includes resources we’ve found useful in exploring, understanding, and applying content strategy. Check these out, and let us know your thoughts!

What’s next

  • Begin development work on priority features, starting with people/locations directory.
  • Audit and prioritize content for main OSU Extension site, Phase 1.
  • Develop initial user-friendly tags/categories.

Questions?
Please contact the project team. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

The Extension web upgrade project is entering the development phase!

Here’s an update on what’s happened recently, what’s next, and how you can learn more.

What’s happened

After discussion with the project team, the O&E executive team (Scott Reed and Lindsey Shirley) approved a set of essential commitments, guiding criteria, and strategies for moving ahead with the project.

This approach allows us to take the bold first steps in shifting OSU Extension’s overall web strategy from “site development and design” to “content strategy.” This is a major shift and also an opportunity for meaningful, positive change.

We’ve also created a project blog. Going forward, this will be the primary source for project information, status updates, and FAQs.

What’s next

There is a separate strategy and process for specific groups of sites and content in the OSU Extension web family. The strategies at a glance blog page provides an overview of the following:

  • Phase 1: Main OSU Extension web presence, County/Employee Resources sites, and Program/Other sites
  • Phase 2: Developing and applying content strategy

In brief, Phase 1 development (through January 2017) is about transition and preparing sites and content for the next step. The timeline page provides an overview of the milestones and general timeline for Phase 1 (through January 2017).

  • Note that one of the first steps you may be asked to assist with is identifying/confirming contacts for site managers and decision makers for each website in the OSU Extension family.

Learn more

Going forward, you can expect regular updates via the project blog and Extension ConnEXTion newsletter. The project team will also have individual or small-group consultations as needed with current site manager and decision makers throughout Phase 1.

Questions?

Please contact the project team, and we will reply as soon as possible. We want to hear from you. Your feedback will help us improve our communication plan and the project blog, especially the FAQs.

UPDATE: Thank you for your participation in the survey! The survey has been closed. If you would like to provide additional feedback please contact us.


The Extension Website Upgrade project has entered the strategy phase, and we need your input to help us to create a next-generation OSU Extension web presence that is user-focused, easier to manage, and truly awesome.

We invite you to take the OSU Extension Website Upgrade: Employee Survey by Friday, June 17. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on our current web presence, information on web content management, and input on priorities for the upgrade. It should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

You’ll remember from the project Discovery Report that this employee survey complements our external, user-focused research.

Questions? Please let us know.

Thank you!

—Your Web Steering Committee
Jeff Hino, Tamara Hill-Tanquist, Brooke Edmunds, Ann Marie Murphy, Alisha Atha, Patrick Proden and Victor Villegas