About Buffalo Microsite

Promoting the Buffalo-Niagara region to UB’s prospective audiences.

Role

Information Architect, Content Strategist

Date

2011


During my time working in UB’s School of Medicine, I helped create this microsite about living and working in Buffalo, NY for prospective students, faculty, and staff of the school. Originally created for the School of Medicine, the site’s content was later promoted to UB’s top-level site.

Process

Information Architecture

User research data and insights from stakeholders shaped how the site was divided thematically, and influenced decisions about the copy’s tone. Working closely with the project’s writer, I used the “Matchseeker” mental model and stakeholder interview data to define the website’s structure and overall messaging.

Content Strategy

To guide the content creation process, I created a collection of content templates (also called page tables) for each page of the site. This tool pulled together organizational goals, user needs, and other content requirements in one central place. This helped our writer focus on developing content that directly addressed the most important user needs and stakeholder goals while weaving in messaging that resonated with our target audience.

Photo Selection

Our user research indicated that many prospectives “feel anxious about the uncertainty of moving to a new place.” To ease this uncertainty, I made the decision to prominently feature vibrant, compelling photographs of Buffalo and UB’s campuses in the site’s key areas. I sourced most of the images from the university’s photo database and incorporated photos directly related to the medical school where possible.

Results

The About Buffalo homepage within the main School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences website.

Site Map: User data from the "Matchseeker" mental model and interviews with stakeholders shaped how pages were divided thematically.

Content template example for the "Getting Around the City" page about travel and commuting in Buffalo. This tool helped us organize business objectives, user needs and content requirements in one place. View larger

A related content promotion on one of the School of Medicine's departmental sites. We strategically placed these promotions in key decision-making areas where they would be the most relevant for prospectives.

One of the About Buffalo sub-pages on UB's top-level site. Originally created for the School of Medicine, most of the site's content now appears on the university's top-level website where it's viewed by all of UB's prospective audiences—not just the medical school's.