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Q&As on aalto.fi & Inside renewal

Why a new communications platform?

Broken technology needs to be replaced by modern solution

The current aalto.fi and Inside solutions, Midgard and Confluence respectively, will be replaced by a modern, an easy-to-use, and a scalable communications platform. This will be integratable to multiple data sources, and also supports the future feature development.

User experience can be better

The user experience will be at the core of the new communications platform. When evaluating and editing the existing Inside and aalto.fi content, the focus will be in building better user experiences.

In the new, unified platform, the Aalto brand representation is in line with the user experience.

The new communications platform:

  • is for many the first point of access, and the beginning of Aalto-related activities, so it will guide the users quickly to the required information
  • represents for different user groups what opportunities and information Aalto University is offering
  • is a unifying space that brings all of Aalto’s user groups to the same space

What are the goals for the renewal project?

The most important goals for the new communications platform are, that it:

  • is scalable and robust
  • it enables implementation of new technologies and features
  • it provides excellent search functionality
  • ensures: the ease of content creation and distribution
  • provides excellent user experience

The communications platform renewal is part of the Aalto Digitalization Project. Learn more at digital.aalto.fi.

Frequently asked questions regarding Aalto Editors’ Days

What if my content is not in Välivarasto/temporary content storage?

Check once more: the aalto.fi/midgard content can be found in the temporary content storage either based on the site headline or the navigation headline. Galleries (from Midgard) can be found under a special page called [meta] Galleries. If the content is still not found, please tell the project team and they’ll double check the content migrations, if something has not (for some reason) been transferred to the temporary content storage.

I noticed my content on Wordpress site is missing?

In the temporary content storage, the priority is to edit content on aalto.fi and Inside. So, if your site is on Wordpress (or another platform), material have not been transferred to the temporary content storage, and you'll need to edit your content where they are based. We will get back to this and it should be wise to contact the project team regarding this.

What if I need help with this editing project?

It is important that you get familiar with the content that you and your team are responsible for (at aalto.fi and/or on Inside) and start to plan: what could be deleted and what content should be improved on. The project team will help, if needed. Please contact the project team and let them know about your challenges so they can help you to come up with a solution.

Can I break or lose something for good when editing?
No, at this point you can’t break or lose anything in the temporary content storage. We will edit and delete the existing content as much as we can to get a clean start for the new communications platform. (We have copies of the content.)

How long will this editing process take from me?

Depends on how much content there is to be edited. For some, this may take all Aalto Editors’ Days and more, for some only a few hours. There are hundreds of editors and content owners at Aalto, and all have different amounts of content to edit. The project team will continue to have Editors’ Days for as long as is needed.

What will be the content hierarchy on the new communications platform?

We will aim to simplify the hierarchy on the new communications platform – make the site more user-friendly. However, at this point the hierarchy is not something that we are focusing on when editing, as with editing we are focusing more on the purpose of the content and what content do our users need the most. The reason for this is that our first task is to delete all irrelevant and outdated content and make decisions on what content will be transferred to the new communications platform – make the existing content more user-friendly. Before doing this, it is impossible to consider anything related to the future hierarchy.

How do I choose the editing language?

To help us with the editing process, it would be great if you could choose just one main language (Finnish or English) to use when editing larger sections at aalto.fi and on Inside. This means, that a School, Department or any other organisational function should edit preferably with only one language. This is the easiest way to go forward with the possible translations later this spring, translate one entity, not pieces of it.  

What about the text translations?

Aalto Communications will take care of co-ordinating the translations. The translation needs are checked with the content owners separately. (Please, read the question: “How do I choose the editing language?”)

What about the links in the body text (at temporary content storage)?

Please do not touch any links in the body text. The project team will do its best to make sure, that all the links are redirected correctly in the new communications platform. To maintain the existing links between different content entities, the editors must leave the links as they are.

What do I do with the attachments, files & PDFs?

Delete all irrelevant and outdated attachments when editing. Keep safe (= to be transferred) only the very necessary attachments, files and PDFs.

What about the materials that I think should be archived?

We encourage you to save all the materials that you consider worth saving for yourself and save it, for example, in your Sharepoint. Aalto’s new communications platform will not work as a storage place for memos, archived materials, etc. If needed, kindly contact your designated IT services for advice on the different ways of where to save your material at Aalto.

What if I need to update Inside and/or aalto.fi sites during this spring – what do I do in this case at Välivarasto/content storage?

Avoid making major changes at aalto.fi and/or Inside during this spring. (Whatever changes are made to aalto.fi and Inside – after the editing has been started in the content storage – will be lost. This means, that all the changes made at aalto.fi and on Inside will not be automatically updated to the new communications platform. So, update as little as possible the existing live sites.) But, if you need constantly update your sites, we highly recommend that you contact the project team and discuss your pages and schedule: when you should actually start the editing work in Välivarasto/content storage.

What about the content that does not have an editor or owner?

In that case, it is most likely that the content will not be transferred to the new communications platform, meaning it is outdated or irrelevant. We will contact the relevant editors, producers and owners if we notice that some parts of their sites are not edited. No need to worry.

How will the launch of the new communications platform happen?

The new communications platform will be launched in parts, not all at once. The project group works according to the Scrum method and uses agile techniques. We will keep you posted! The renewal process will continue next four years.

What should I do with duplicate content?  

You don’t want to transfer duplicate content to the new communications platform. Also, you don’t want to edit the same material twice. Please, read “Reasons to flag content red” below. Our goal is to have one home base for each piece of content in the new communications platform, no more duplicates:

Reasons to flag content red (and it will not be transferred to the new system):

Page content is just about three lines of text and/or a couple of links to other pages

  • In this case, the content can be copied and pasted onto another page with a similar theme.

Person responsible for the content cannot be identified or nobody owns the content

  • For example, a user created a page to the site and they have since left Aalto and nobody else has edited the page since, and nobody is willing to take ownership of the matter, or doesn’t think the page is necessary.
  • The content has not been edited during 2017 and there is no person who can be appointed to own the content and check that it is current.
  • The content works as an archive (is labelled as deprecated/outdated).

The content consists of meeting memos or similar document listings

  • President’s decisions and other official documents will be stored elsewhere in the future.

School/department has the same or almost the same content on both platforms at aalto.fi and on Inside.

  • Decide, which are the primary users (external or internal audiences) – remove the other.

The content is fully or partially copied from some other aalto.fi/Inside page and the content is not part of your department’s/unit’s core functions (e.g. studies/HR/campus-related content on department’s sites)

  • For example, if programmes or application dates change, optimise so that your department pages don’t need to be updated separately to make sure this content is up to date. (There will be a mirroring system in the future.)

The content has no clear goal or purpose.

  • Maybe it is a page filler, nice to have story or background information?

The content does not answer to your site user’s questions

  • If the topic is not relevant for the reader, does it need to be there?

The aimed reader of the content is not one of your site’s users

  • Then the content is in the wrong place to begin with.

If the page has had significantly low page views based on analytics.

  • Based on the Google analytics nobody is visiting the page, so there is no need for the page.

In this renewal, is the focus on external or internal communications?

We are talking about both: Inside and aalto.fi. Inside, as a service, will be integrated into aalto.fi. In the future, aalto.fi will have a login option – some content areas (marked as “confidential”) will be only available for people with Aalto id credentials.

What is done at each Aalto Editors’ Day workshop? What are the workshop agendas?

Aalto Editors’ Days are for editing. Learn more on Inside. Come to the workshops to find out more and be a part of this process.

In what kind of editor groups should we participate in Aalto Editors’ Days? Should we edit only within our own team or should we collaborate with other editor groups communicating to the same user group?

We would prefer for as many people as possible to be involved as often as possible but handovers and cross-over representation and activity is of course possible. The content/subject owners and the persons editing/updating the content should take care of the editing of their own pages.

Whom should I target and edit the content for – if there are several important user groups? For external or internal user groups?

In short – you tell us: what do people most often ask from you? What do they want to know? What do you want to achieve with your content? Basically from an internal and external perspective: guide people to tackle their main needs and concerns and help them to get the answers they need. Know your website users and what they are searching for. Serve them by providing this information.

During the Aalto Editors’ Days, do we actually get a chance to edit the content in the new system or do we only operate with paper outside the system?

We will be doing the editing work in Drupal-based editing platform: Välivarasto/content storage. This does not mean, that it looks like our new communications platform or content management system. This is for editing purposes only. All static content (excluding news, events, lists and pictures – dynamic content) from aalto.fi and Inside are copied to a temporary storage where this content is edited for the new communications platform. The edited content from this system will be then, at some point, moved to the new communications platform.

When should the content be edited and ready for translations?

We hope to get some texts ready for the translations in March 2018. But, translations and schedules will be discussed with the content owners separately during the project.

About timetable

When is the publishing scheduled? I would like to know when each page should be ready. What if everything is not done in Aalto Editors’ Days?

The full schedule will be communicated soon. Don’t worry, you don’t have to edit everything in Aalto Editors’ Days – the site is open and available also outside the workshops and you can edit your content whenever you need (by using Aalto internal network or VPN and your Aalto id credentials). If you are responsible of some site/sites that cannot be published during this spring (for example Studies due to legal reasons), please let the project group know about this.

About visuals

How is the renewal project progressing from a project perspective? What if we have an internal project going on at the same time with this web renewal project – how is the renewal project team familiarised with the different projects going on at Aalto?

There are many many tracks and sub-projects going on. Aalto Communications is closely collaborating with Siili, hasan & partners and many others. All of the projects are organic and things are changing as the projects proceed during the discovery phase. Everyone is not aware of everything, hence the discovery phase and the need for many discussions during the project.

Accessibility

In which phase accessibility matters are considered? Is accessibility expert heard during the process? (Taking visually impaired person into account, etc.)

Naturally! There are well-experienced service designers, graphic designers and user experience experts working on this. Aalto's internal advisory boards, and more, are all involved in discussions around accessibility and aesthetics.

 

Contact detail for the project team: [email protected]

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