The Client

IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) is the premier international professional organization for communications technologies and information networking. For over 45 years, ComSoc has been generating unparalleled publications, training programs, conferences and technical committees through their highly engaged community of members.

The Problem

ComSoc is an organization fueled by its members. This volume of contributors, combined with inconsistent strategies and workflows, was producing a site that lacked clarity and cohesiveness. Their navigation was a reflection of their organizational chart rather than one that reflected member needs. ComSoc needed a partner to develop a new website which maintained the culture of empowered membership while creating a more cohesive brand voice and user experience.

The Solutions

User Research

IEEE site

We developed what are called “proto personas” during our discovery workshop, but needed research to confirm if they could be supported by data. Our team conducted interviews with ComSoc members all over the world, from students to senior members, and came up with four distinct personas which represented ComSoc’s current target audiences. For each persona, we were able to articulate the value membership holds, their pain points and goals, and what type of content would help them achieve those goals.

Content Strategy

ComSoc needed help wrangling many different voices and workflows into something more consistent and cohesive. We partnered with Content Park to develop a brand voice which included guidelines for writing for diversity and inclusion, and editorial workflows that would be feasible for a shoestring staff and large pool of volunteers. We also surfaced topics that would be most relevant to working practitioners—the group they needed the most help reaching. On the back end, we developed a much more manageable content model and taxonomy.

The Details

Due to our early focus on infrastructure, both from a technological and content strategy standpoint, ComSoc is well on the road to improved knowledge management and governance. They feel confident that they are writing in a distinct and consistent voice that will connect with their audience. Their content model is cleaner, with all contributors using the same process for submitting content. Administrators know who is responsible for approvals and which channels to route the content to. Their new navigation is representative of user goals rather than organizational structure and provides clear pathways for users to find what they need.

Our UX work has provided designers and engineers page goals and feature priorities so, despite some initial delays, we are able to expedite the build phase and still hit ComSoc’s desired launch date at the end of 2018.

Solutions Provided

  • Project Strategy and Roadmap
  • Personas
  • User Engagement Journeys
  • Content Ecosystem Map
  • Content and Performance Audit
  • Information Architecture