Supporting “top tasks”: How to hone in on user needs

Breakout

Gerry McGovern's book The Stranger's Long Neck makes what is, for many higher ed institutions, a revolutionary proposition: Your visitors don't care about most of your content, except as it relates to helping them accomplish a specific task. Implementing the "top tasks" methodology McGovern lays out in an "office of ..." environment can be difficult, but it can help improve your users' experience immensely.

Learn from the trials and tribulations of one university's adventures in redesigning their site around top tasks. This session will help you understand:

  • The basics of the top tasks methodology
  • How to break out of the org-chart mentality of a .edu site
  • How to handle a major culture shift in a distributed authorship environment

About Aaron Rester

Aaron Rester built his first website in 1996 and has been working in the higher ed web since graduating from Oberlin College in 1999. He held several jack-of-all-trades, code-to-content web positions at the University of Chicago, where he also earned a master's degree from the Divinity School while studying the effects of emerging media on the transmission of traditional narratives.

In 2014 he became assistant vice president of web development at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He has presented at numerous national and regional conferences and has been published in A List Apart and Link Magazine.

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