Last week we launched a new homepage design for the OSU Extension website. Additional design refinements for the homepage will be coming soon. Homepage updates include:

  • New feature to sharing three key statistics. (This will also be available to content groups for program subpages and collections.)
  • New footer for the OSU Extension website. This is the black section at the bottom of all pages on the OSU Extension website.
  • Easy ways to find information for local county offices, including a direct links to each county’s event page.
  • A new design for homepage featured content. This will highlight awesome content across OSU Extension.
  • Ask an Expert featured questions.

Check it out, we’d love to hear what you think! Share your feedback.

 

Come see us at the OSU Extension Annual Conference!

These are our sessions:

 

Extension Website Lightning Talks
Jennifer Alexander, Mark Kindred, Amerie Lommen, Bryan Mayjor, Michele Scheib
Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am

The Extension website is more powerful than many realize. In this session, we will present short lightning talks on tips and tricks for using the Extension website and related tools, reporting impact (including Digital Measures), best practices and requirements for web content (including accessibility for visitors with disabilities), and news about upcoming milestones in Extension’s digital strategy, including CRM development.

 

DIY Extension Marketing
Ann Marie Murphy, Nicole Strong (TBC), Michele Scheib, Erik Simmons (TBC), Chris Branam, Kym Pokorny
Tuesday, 1:30-2:45pm

Creating awareness of the value of Extension and recruiting participants and volunteers is often top of mind and can be a challenge for Extension offices and programs. This session will bring tools, ideas and experience to help you market Extension in your county and region from a variety of people and perspectives. Come prepared to share one of the most effective 2019 marketing efforts from your county or program!

 

Building a CRM Practice in Extension Programs: the How & the Why
Mark Kindred, Carrie Berger
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

The Extension Service is scaling up its use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software as a digital tool to increase efficiency and strengthen productivity. For each program across Extension, the scope and scale of a CRM practice will differ. This presentation will highlight the steps undertaken to assess, plan, and implement a CRM practice using Salesforce. Learn what worked, what didn’t, and why this digital solution was necessary for helping the program achieve its goals.

 

Extension Efficiency and Growth Opportunities
Jamie Davis (TBD), Amerie Lommen, Mark Kindred, Jeff Sherman, Kelsey Knight, Kevin Leahy, Raul Burriel
Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

Join us for a panel that will help foster ideas for social resilience and growth mindset, intergenerational marketing, community engagement, sustainable growth, keeping up meeting and event attendance within the community, reaching the next generation, and more! The panel will feature: Jamie Davis (Social Media), Amerie Lommen (EESC/Web Strategy), Mark Kindred (CRM), Jeff Sherman (non-traditional community engagement models), Kevin Leahy (holding meaningful meetings; getting community to attend Extension events), Raul Burriel (tech/media strategy)

 

Internet Productivity Tips & Tricks: Getting the Most Out of Your Web Browser and Online Search
Victor Villegas
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

Learn how to get the most out of your web browser, increase your productivity and find information faster online.

 

Information table at the conference

We will have a table on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Come find us and ask questions. We’d love to see you!

 

 

UPDATED 11/26/19: The new OSU Extension website homepage has been launched! Check it out, we’d love to hear what you think! Share your feedback.


A new design for the OSU Extension website homepage will be launching soon!

Updates include:

  • New feature to sharing three key statistics. (This will also be available to content groups for program subpages and collections.)
  • New footer for the OSU Extension website. This is the black section at the bottom of all pages on the OSU Extension website. This is viewable now.
  • Easy ways to find information for local county offices, including a direct links to each county’s event page.
  • A new design for homepage featured content. This will highlight awesome content across OSU Extension.
  • Added Ask an Expert featured questions.

Keep an eye on the homepage over the coming days to see the updates.

 

Come see us at OSU Extension Annual Conference!

As you plan what sessions you’ll attend, consider these:

 

Extension Website Lightning Talks
Jennifer Alexander, Mark Kindred, Amerie Lommen, Bryan Mayjor, Michele Scheib
Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am

The Extension website is more powerful than many realize. In this session, we will present short lightning talks on tips and tricks for using the Extension website and related tools, reporting impact (including Digital Measures), best practices and requirements for web content (including accessibility for visitors with disabilities), and news about upcoming milestones in Extension’s digital strategy, including CRM development.

 

DIY Extension Marketing
Ann Marie Murphy, Nicole Strong (TBC), Michele Scheib, Erik Simmons (TBC), Chris Branam, Kym Pokorny
Tuesday, 1:30-2:45pm

Creating awareness of the value of Extension and recruiting participants and volunteers is often top of mind and can be a challenge for Extension offices and programs. This session will bring tools, ideas and experience to help you market Extension in your county and region from a variety of people and perspectives. Come prepared to share one of the most effective 2019 marketing efforts from your county or program!

 

Building a CRM Practice in Extension Programs: the How & the Why
Mark Kindred, Carrie Berger
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

The Extension Service is scaling up its use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software as a digital tool to increase efficiency and strengthen productivity. For each program across Extension, the scope and scale of a CRM practice will differ. This presentation will highlight the steps undertaken to assess, plan, and implement a CRM practice using Salesforce. Learn what worked, what didn’t, and why this digital solution was necessary for helping the program achieve its goals.

 

Extension Efficiency and Growth Opportunities
Jamie Davis (TBD), Amerie Lommen, Mark Kindred, Jeff Sherman, Kelsey Knight, Kevin Leahy, Raul Burriel
Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

Join us for a panel that will help foster ideas for social resilience and growth mindset, intergenerational marketing, community engagement, sustainable growth, keeping up meeting and event attendance within the community, reaching the next generation, and more! The panel will feature: Jamie Davis (Social Media), Amerie Lommen (EESC/Web Strategy), Mark Kindred (CRM), Jeff Sherman (non-traditional community engagement models), Kevin Leahy (holding meaningful meetings; getting community to attend Extension events), Raul Burriel (tech/media strategy)

 

Internet Productivity Tips & Tricks: Getting the Most Out of Your Web Browser and Online Search
Victor Villegas
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

Learn how to get the most out of your web browser, increase your productivity and find information faster online.

 

Information table at the conference

We will have a table on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Come find us and ask questions. We’d love to see you!

 

We want people to understand what we do and how it is relevant for their lives. This isn’t easy: We provide resources for many topics and our impact is challenging to summarize. Here are some tips when writing for county pages:

Make it easy to read

  • Read the text out loud. Are there sentences where you need to slow down? Is the sentence long? Try breaking the information up into smaller sentences. Consider removing some information.
  • Write for a general audience. The target audience for county landing pages is the general public. Aim for an eighth-grade reading level. Use terms that are general and understandable for people unfamiliar with OSU Extension. Avoid using program names and internal jargon when possible.
  • Write directly to the reader: Whenever possible use ‘you’. We serve you. Avoid ‘clientele’, ‘customers’, and ‘audience’.
  • More tips: See writing for the web.
  • Helpful tools:
    • Hemingway Editor: Estimates the reading level. Highlights text that is hard to read. Is free. See how to use Hemingway Editor.
    • Jargon tool: A very easy way to see what words are jargon. Rates how well the words are known.

How the design can help

The county page design has places to share different parts of our story:

County landing page

Intro text
Make OSU Extension relevant to the general public. Show why they should care, by helping them understand what we do — and how it affects their lives. Keep it brief.

We recommend including:

  • How we help Oregonians
  • It is affordable to learn with us (often no cost)
  • How they can learn with us (classes, tours, etc.)

We don’t recommend including:

  • Information about how we work: our program names, about trained-volunteers, community partners, etc. This comes later.

Note: The “what we do” section provides some concrete examples of information that can be learned about in this county.

Intro example:

The Benton County Extension Service helps you solve problems, develop life skills and manage your resources.

We share reliable, research-based education. Access is affordable, often offered at no-cost: Talk one-on-one with an expert. Attend a demonstration, tour, short courses, youth development club or activity. Read our publications.

County landing page example, see Hood River.

‘What we do’ page

Intro
We recommend including:

  • More details on how we help Oregonians
  • How we provide our services: through our faculty, staff, trained volunteers and community partners

We don’t recommend including:

  • Our program names.

Note: The “what we do” section provides some concrete examples of information that can be learned about in this county. About section can be a great place to include impact information, this displays further down on the page.

‘What we do‘ intro example:

Extension faculty, staff, and trained volunteers work alongside partners across Deschutes County to provide educational workshops, activities and services tailored to the unique industries, natural resources, and demographics in our communities.

Oregon State University’s land grant mission drives us to conduct research and share research-based education to minimize community risk, improve economic vitality, and promote personal and environmental health.

‘What we do’ page example: Union

Focus area page

Titles
Create concise, easy to understand titles.

  • Is the title is getting too complicated? Perhaps there are too many topics contained within one focus area. Try breaking it into multiple focus areas.
  • Is the title too long? Try removing some of the information or adding it to the description.

Title example:

  • Livestock
  • Food preservation and safety
  • Small Farms
  • Field crops
  • Nutrition and healthy living

Description
Briefly outline the benefits. The description text shows on the “What we do page”.

Example title and description:

Activities for youth: 4-H empowers young people with hands-on learning experiences to help them grow and thrive. By creating a safe and welcoming environment, young people develop the skills needed to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Home garden and landscape: We provide research-based information for backyard gardeners and green industry professionals, including regional specific information.

Working together on county pages

We will be collaborating with each county on developing their county pages. This will include optimizing the use of the website’s design, refining landing pages and creating focus areas.

Website updates

  • Checkout the updates to the statewide 4-H including user-friendly menu and the great way they are using the website’s designs! Nice work!
  • There is a new youth development topic page. It is ready for programs and focus areas to add this topic tag to your content. Educational content for the public can show on this topic page.

Navigator Update

As an organization, we’ve all been heads-down, working hard, and focused on the Extension website for the past year. We’ve made great progress, but this is just one component of an overall digital strategy that we call “Navigator.” It’s a good time to celebrate how far we’ve come, focus on next steps, and look ahead.

Navigor slide deck imageYou may be wondering:

  • What is Navigator?
  • How does this relate to the Extension website?
  • How does this connect to our CRM (Salesforce)?
  • What’s important for me to know or do right now?

We shared a general Navigator update at the May 17 Outreach & Engagement Quarterly conversation to answer these questions and provide more information. You can watch the recording (starts at 1:30) or view the slides. If you’re in a hurry, skip to the last two slides for tips on what to know and do right now, and where to learn more (hint: beav.es/navigator)

We’ve also revised the homepage for the project website to provide quick, easy access to common questions and helpful resources.

And as always, we welcome your comments and questions.

 

Upcoming webinars

Managing County Landing Pages and Local Focus Areas

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:00 4:00 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 am

Presented by Bryan Mayjor

This series of webinars are geared towards staff and faculty who are responsible for managing County landing pages, announcements and events. Program and Content Team members are welcome to attend.

Learn about the new options for managing County landing pages, and Local focus areas.

The webinar will also cover basics such as:

  • logging in using DUO
  • editing your your website profile and photo
  • your role(s) and responsibilities

Connection details

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Meeting number: 926 421 616
https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/j.php?MTID=mba8857044232bad552e68e86dcd0310a

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 926 421 616

Friday, May 31, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 am
Meeting number: 920 145 176

https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/k2/j.php?MTID=t076ed23b5c0de87cdf34c2a4df4ba482

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 924 232 853

 

 

Extension Website updates

List of recent updates and changes:

  • County Social Media lists change of location: These used to be displayed on the sidebar navigation, now display on the landing page.
  • County faculty and staff listing: Regional Directors are now displayed at the end of list. Previously Regional Directors were listed first.
  • Ability to customize introductory text on local programs list pages (for statewide programs).
  • Fix non-local events showing in short list on landing page.
  • “Image Slider” paragraph type no longer crops images.

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

When a change happens, there’s a lot of fluidity in roles with some people pitching in where needed. At a certain point into the transition, clarity is needed to outline current expectations and responsibilities. This helps working relationships and goals be more defined, and taps into the strengths and interests of each member of a group.

Last week we shared our new guide on working on the Extension website, and it included updated roles for all who are involved with the web project and the long-term digital strategy. These roles are shaped by the guiding criteria of the “right people doing the right things”.

Roles and Responsibilities

Focusing in on just a few responsibilities at a time may make the way forward more manageable. Some of the suggested focuses for 2019 are highlighted in “Getting Started with Content” in the new guide. Full roles and responsibilities are also outlined:

Everyone in a content team or program or county office group can learn how to add content to the website. The team or group can also designate a member to be “publishing editor” who does the entry or this assignment can rotate. There is flexibility in how the roles fit for your team or group (see the points of contact for each team or group).

Working on the website can be more effective when you meet as a group and discuss, for example, “How does your content address the questions being asked by your audiences?” This collaborative inquiry can make your content more engaging too.

EESC can facilitate interactive workshops for your team this year to define your website goals, plan your content strategy, or map out your process in making the roles fit for your team or group. Contact the web team with your ideas and requests.

Over the last months, the web team made a few adjustments to make it easier to add program resources, peer reviewed content, and online events. EESC also continues to work on finalizing design and support tools for the website. Here’s a look at what is new and what is on the way.

New Changes

Program Resources

Instead of keeping the default alphabetical order, you can now rearrange program resources in the Program Resource List. When you see the list you want to reorder, click on the pencil icon that appears next to the section heading and select “reorder items”. This takes you to a screen where you can drag the program resources up or down on the page. More is explained in the guide on the Training page.

Reviewers

When adding new content, some program area leaders have asked for articles to be peer reviewed. You can now check the box and add the reviewer’s name in “Step 3: Author and Publishing Information” when entering educational content.

Events

If you are hosting a virtual event or webinar, you can now select “online only” as the location.

We are also working on a design fix for how to display all events chronologically but have local events more distinct on the main landing pages.

Upcoming Tools

County Page Design

Later this month you’ll have access to the county page design features and ways to highlight focus areas in your county that we mentioned in an earlier blog. We’ll send more details when it gets closer to rolling out.

Program Page Design

In December we released new design features for the participatory program pages, and details on how to apply these tools are in the guide on the Training page. Since this is new, we are working on video tutorials to walk you through how to spruce up your pages.

Training Guides

A new searchable guide full of how-to instructions and tips for entering and updating information on the website will replace the current working drafts on the training page. We will let all web group leaders know when it is released.

Employee Intranet

On the OSU Extension employee intranet, the last pages are being revised for ETCU Tech Help, EESC, and 4-H employee resources, and will soon be available.

 

If you have a question or want to check in on the status of other changes, please reach out to us through the web support form.

In 2018, Extension faculty were organized into content teams to populate the new Extension website. If you led the review of content from the county and program sites to see what to migrate or facilitated a discussion with your working groups about what content your audiences wanted, report your contributions and outcomes in Digital Measures.

To capture your effort in your P&T CV, document it in Digital Measures under “Other Assigned Duties.” While content you have authored, reviewed, or contributed to can be listed under “Publications,” on a content team you may provide more leadership that strengthens the group process. Here’s some suggested language that could be used; enter the steps that are appropriate to your experience.

The Other Assigned Duties screen looks like this:

screenshot described in text

 

Assignment Title:

Extension Website Content Team Leader or Extension Website Content Team Contributor

Description of issue/situation:

Because older program and county websites were going offline, existing web content was reviewed and if warranted, migrated to the new Extension content management system.

Content teams had opportunities to provide feedback to the Extension website, which was launched in phases. This step-wise launch permitted faculty to become trained in the new content management system and workflow processes.

Description of action taken:

As a content team leader, I convened team members so that we could “divide and conquer” the size of the job.  Content was reviewed for its suitability to today’s Extension audience and then entered on the new website. I coordinated workload with [student workers, research assistants, content team members, etc.] who assisted in content entry.

In addition, I facilitated communication with my teammates, the EESC web team, and with program area leaders to [request topic changes, curate content on the site, enter or review content on the website, tag content appropriately, identify missing content, suggest functionality or design changes, and coordinate or participate in trainings to learn the content management system]. This took approximately ____ hours.

Description of outcome or impact:

___ pieces of content were added and read by ___ visitors.  These requested features were added to website: ____ (Also include any impact statements from people in the community or clients who have benefited from the website content).

Inclusivity of this activity (optional):

Our content team’s content reached an audience under the age of 35, who made up ___% of all visitors to our group’s content.

All our content included subheading formats, alternative text of images, and clear writing to increase the access to its content for diverse audiences. When feasible, PDFs were also made into text articles for improved accessibility.

Scholarship:

https://extension.oregonstate.edu. (Also note whether faculty from other states indicated they had referenced various resources from the website.)

Start Date:

(This can just be the year if you don’t know the month)

End Date:

(Leave blank unless you have rotated off the content team)

There is the ability to link relevant publications, presentations and more to this kind of record. The EESC web team is also working on an analytics dashboard linked to content team group pages when logged into the the Extension website to quantify page and site traffic. Until then, you can contact the web team if you would like this information.

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.

As November comes to a close, we have new instructional videos for those working behind the scenes on the website. These show the basics you need to know, and are also explained further in the written training guides. You can learn how to:

  • Update your personal profile information
  • Add events, announcements, or newsletters
  • Improve how an image displays
  • Link to another web page or resource

More videos will be coming out next month. In the meantime, you can also get an in-person demonstration during the Extension annual conference. Join us on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 2:15 pm for our session “Ask the Experts about the New Extension Website” in Corvallis. The whole web team will be on hand to listen and walk through your questions and challenges. We will also explore how to more effectively search and find resources on the website, so you can better assist Extension clients. If you cannot attend, reach out to us about doing a virtual session this winter.