It started with a vision: to create a single, integrated web presence for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) at Oklahoma State University (OSU). The journey to untangle 200+ websites and understand the people they serve is still underway, but already bearing fruit.
Start with 70 Websites…
We first met the DASNR team a few months into a website redesign project with Oklahoma State. DASNR plays a unique role at OSU, encompassing all three functions of the land-grant charter: education (Ferguson College of Agriculture), research (Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station), and extension (OSU Extension.) Over time, however, their organizational structure had led to a sprawling and siloed digital experience.
Through an extensive and collaborative website inventory, we identified about 70 websites that needed to be part of DASNR’s strategic online future. We dug into the analytics to understand traffic patterns and find high-performing content. We launched intercept surveys and conducted interviews with site visitors to uncover motivations, pain points, and needs. And we spent time at four different sites in Oklahoma to meet internal stakeholders and external audiences face-to-face.
…And Take It One Step at a Time
Early on, it was clear that the project would require a phased approach. We agreed with our client partners to focus on Extension first. The College site and its departments would be addressed alongside OSU’s other academic colleges (in a separate engagement with NewCity,) and Research would be folded in later. Serving all of Oklahoma, and with a sizable portion of national and international traffic, Extension held the most potential to bolster DASNR’s digital footprint.
We used behavioral personas and a client experience map to identify content and functionality that would empower OSU Extension to better meet its fundamental goal of providing “practical, research-based knowledge for improving lives and communities.” The first release of the new website would include 1300+ fact sheets, 77 county office sections, profiles for 350+ Extension experts, and tailored feeds from the University’s Trumba(R) calendar system, unified by a centralized taxonomy of approximately 200 topical terms. We used a clickable prototype to test and refine the concepts before moving into production.