As explained in the previous post “Blogging the website redesign,” I really think blogs beat the traditional redesign committee’s status reports and meetings, because they give every stakeholder a chance to look at the design in the context it’s supposed to work – on a computer screen – and to give instant – yet articulated – written feedback.
Cornell.edu Redesign Blog has been doing it very well since July 2004. Started just a few weeks before the launch of the new website design, this blog has kept its promises outlined by Thomas Richardson, Cornell Director of Web Communications in one of the first posts:
The purpose of this blog is to provide the Cornell University community, and especially the web community, with the following:
- Weekly project update
- Background information on the 4 year project plan
- Screenshot previews
- Opportunities for feedback
- and undoubtedly some surprises
Because it has been used to provide updates and collect feedback for more than 9 months, this blog is also a great tool to explore and learn from Cornell’s experience in website redesign. While the information and the comments are specific to Cornell’s in-progress project, Cornell’s blog can help you (us) get an idea of the type of comments you can expect for your own website redesign and identify, early in the process, how this kind of feedback should be handled by the project team.
This is a great example of how project blogs can be great communication and knowledge management tools by:
- Spelling out the project goals, scope and plan
- Requesting feedback often
- Following up on questions and suggestions
- Providing regular project updates in a lively and engaging style