What makes a great web feature? (AKA content criteria)

What content hits Ohio State’s digital properties–and why?

A variety of considerations go into making digital content decisions for osu.edu, university sites, Ohio State social media channels and OSU Mobile. The best stories work through two lenses: A reader sees a fun and interesting piece, while Ohio State communicators see a chance to share strategic messages in line with the university’s brand.

The top three considerations:

  • How does this story advance Ohio State? (What messages does it hit?)
  • Why should users read it? (We live in a busy world with lots of competing content–so we need to tell stories in layman’s terms and explain the promise of research. Answer a user’s question of, “Why does this matter to me?”)
  • Is the timing right for maximum punch? (A health-related research story, for example, tends to get longer read times and more clicks in early January–and it wouldn’t be late summer on osu.edu without football-related content that highlights Ohio State’s strong traditions.)

On osu.edu, the main feature (“hero space”) is essentially the print version of a cover story–a centerpiece that showcases current students, faculty/staff or alumni and hits research, athletics or one of our major Ohio State initiatives. We think about Ohio State’s biggest priorities–the discovery themes, research/innovation, great students, outreach, etc.–and use plain language (no jargon!) to make them accessible.

The “news and events” section is populated by @OhioState on Twitter–and is the place to see the most up-to-the-minute info about Ohio State at any given point in time.

“Watch” showcases new videos, from University Communications and partners around campus; this is a way to show dynamic video content. And the “events bug” area is the place for promoting major university events–a Wexner Center exhibition, Pelotonia or Homecoming Week, for example.

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