#PSEWEB sessions of interest for WMS site managers and editors

Attending #PSEWEB next month? If you’re having difficulty choosing which sessions to check out, here’s a list of options we feel might be of particular interest to WMS site managers and editors.

Suggested sessions

Accessibility for content creators

Presenter: Jon Maskrey

Find out about:

  • How screen reader users experience the web
  • How to provide structure with correct heading levels
  • Alt text – best practices and when to leave it blank
  • How to write descriptive link text

How to Get the Most out of Program Pages

Presenter: Suzanne Dergacheva

Learn about:

  • Highlighting a program’s key selling points
  • Showcasing the student experience and school differentiators
  • Balancing visuals and text
  • Presenting program requirements
  • Building SEO value into program pages
  • Program pages as part of the user journey

Panel: Oh, Canada! Bilingual Communications & Marketing in Canadian Higher Education

Presenters: Simon Labonne, JP Rains

(Moderated by our favourite Digital Communications Content Editor, Simon Labonne!)

In our quest to better serve the needs to our audiences, identifying processes and best practices for producing bilingual content has never seemed so critical…and yet so elusive. It’s an undertaking rife with challenges. Keeping translations in sync and the impact of translated content on design choices are just the beginning.

What different approaches have we tried? What specific challenges have we encountered? What solutions have we found?

When good bones house great content

Presenter: Kate Bundy

Based on my experience as a website editor and manager at McGill University, I will give 3 tips on how to improve an outdated and neglected institutional website. Through “before” and “after” images, anecdotes from user experience testing, and examples on how to cross-pollinate traffic from social media, I will discuss how I migrated and populated content into a more visually-pleasing, user-focused, and accessible institutional website.

Keynote Talk: Hospitable Design — A Framework for User Care

Presenter: Joel Goodman

The stress of a global pandemic brought into focus our human need for empathy and kindness. And while we recognized these needs deeply in ourselves, do we extend this level of care to everyone who interacts with our websites? In this keynote, Joel Goodman speaks to ways our sector can holistically improve the hospitality of our web properties through accessibility, better user experience design, research, and feedback loops.

Panel: Redefining the way we work in our post-pandemic world

Presenters: Joyce Peralta, Sean Acklin Grant, Lorraine Mercier, Virginie St-Pierre, Nikki Sunstrum

(Moderated by McGill’s Digital Communications Manager, Joyce Peralta)

Our work environment has undergone significant changes over the past years. For some of us, these changes began even before the arrival of the pandemic.

What new models and methods are surfacing? What lessons have we learned so far? What challenges are we encountering?

Our panel of leaders share insights on emerging best practices and innovative solutions that are redefining the way we work.

Shake hands with the developer: A collaboration guide for communications, marketing and web development teams

Presenters: Joyce Peralta, Karl Jarosiewicz

(Presented by McGill’s Digital Communications Manager, Joyce Peralta and Karl Jarosiewicz McGill IT’s Portfolio Manager, Web Publishing Services)

Find out how our two teams came to work closely together to present a unified service and in turn foster a better web ecosystem for our entire community.

A few of our shared projects that we’ll touch upon include:

  • The redesign of McGill’s homepage and undergraduate admissions program finder
  • Improvements to our search tool
  • Development and beta launch of our Digital Design system
  • Web governance and web accessibility initiatives

Sa11y & Editoria11y: straightforward content accessibility at scale

Presenters: Adam Chaboryk, John Jameson

(Presented by the creators of our WMS usability checker tool, Editoia11y – based on Sa11y)

The presentation will explore how Editoria11y and Sa11y:

  • Focus on content-related issues
  • Make web accessibility straightforward for non-technical website editors
  • Present customizable and scalable solutions that go beyond your expensive cloud-based service
  • Share the same vision, with slightly different emphases and features

Your Admissions Website: Building Awareness & Reputation

Presnter: Suzanne Dergacheva

Your institution probably has a dedicated section of its website, or a stand-alone website that helps recruit new students and guide them through the admissions process. Sometimes a faculty or School will have a similar section of the website that describes the application process and all the programs and requirements.

These sections and websites often play the role of the digital front door of your institution. The first touch-point that a potential student has when they’re researching which school to attend. And while higher education websites also need to speak to current students, faculty, and staff, more and more we expect the primary goal of this type of site to be to attract potential students.

But it’s an oversimplification to imagine that you can design a website with only one target persona. You’re likely looking at two very distinct user journeys with this type of website: potential students who know about your institution from its reputation and want to apply, and students who have never heard of your institution.

With Canadian universities and colleges trying to attract a more international audience, we are further trying to speak to that second group. We can’t necessarily assume that potential students know about our institution and why they would want to attend.

In this session, we’ll talk about:

  • The goal of the website and how it serves the purpose
  • Web governance over content and navigation
  • How to create web content that creates awareness and builds reputation
  • The role of lead-generation content in your admissions website
  • How to speak to the target audience like Millennials end and Generation Z and the difference in techniques and platforms
  • How to adapt lead-generation techniques to the higher education context
  • Efficient ways of creating and improving on your evergreen content, and its role in reputation building and converting potential applicants to applicants
  • The difference between a one-time campaign to achieve a goal vs building content that builds long-term awareness

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