Time for beta launch
A beta version is an initial, not yet fully complete, version that allows people to get an idea of what the ‘strong’ version will look like and how it will function.
For the beta version, the “Ny LiU-webb 2015” project chose to focus on presenting a number of research activities and those working in them. The Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV), the Department of Thematic Studies, and IBL were the pilot departments.
At IBL, they chose to focus on Linnaeus Centre HEAD, which studies cognitive hearing science, as well as Professor Robert Tornberg and the research around him into bullying in schools.
Since March, two communications officers at IBL – Anna Bäcklin Lindén and Marie-Louise Lund Mattson have been working on creating presentations of both the fields of research and the researchers.
“It’s been great fun, and an entirely new way to think,” Ms Bäcklin Lindén says.
“But it takes time,” Ms Lund Mattson says. “For us, the work deals a lot with text revision, trying to make the presentations more adapted to target audiences and more popular-scientific.”
What’s the difference between working on the new web as compared to the old one?
“The idea of target audiences is new; you have to determine which target audience you’re approaching and adapt the information based on that. At the same time, you have to not think about organisation or department. For most target audiences, the research itself is more interesting than the fact that organizationally it falls under IBL,” Ms Lund Mattson says. Additionally, research within a field can take place in several different departments.
“The tree structure, like the one in Polopoly, is gone,” Ms Bäcklin Lindén continues. “In the new web, the search function will be more central. That’s why it’s important how articles are categorised and tagged so that visitors find the correct information.”
How did you select which research activities would be presented in the beta?
“Linnaeus Centre HEAD is a collaboration among several universities. At LiU, it’s a matter of some 30 researchers, and a total of some 50 at other universities. We thought this could work as a template for other research activities that also collaborate with others,” Ms Lund Mattson says.
“Bullying is an important, always topical field,” Ms Bäcklin Lindén says. “It’s knowledge that’s important in schools, municipalities, and many others in society.”
How have you been working at IBL?
“We have a web council we have discussions with and that we use as a sounding board,” Ms Bäcklin Lindén tells us. “If needed, we take questions to management for a decision. It’s good to have that behind us when we go out with information in the organisation, and it make it easier to gain support.”
“By involving ourselves in a few fields, we think we can get everyone in the activity on board and be a source of inspiration internally,” Ms Lund Mattson says. “All the researchers got to write their texts themselves; our suggestion was to answer the questions ‘What are you passionate about? And why?’ Think about target audience, purpose, and goals of your text! The idea is not for the employee page to be a CV, but a path into research and education at LiU.”
“We’re now working with some 20 researchers, but of course we have 180 more researchers at IBL. And we’ve noticed interest increasing; research groups are getting in touch with us and want us to come out and talk about the new web.”
What have you learned, yourselves?
“Our task was to make the information more adapted for target audiences and more popular-scientific. The journalistic job there was a challenge for us. We’ve been compelled to sharpen ourselves up – but what professional development we got!”
Last updated: 2015-10-01