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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Transition Process

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The transition of all college, department, program and office websites will require efforts that will benefit from a process that's based on procedures and policies. The procedures include training steps in D2L and in the new content management system framework. The policies are the [PDF] Web Publishing policy (241 KiB) at the University level, branding standards and ITS policies that grant access to University technology resources.

Training goals

If you will be working to transition your website to the new content management system, please ask to be enrolled in the D2L course, "Developing Effective Website Content," by sending a request to or This course is the prerequisite to all subsequent steps in the transition process. The critical outcomes of this course include the following:

  1. Writing considerations: understand how to write content that is easy to scan.
  2. Audience considerations: gain a deeper understanding of external audiences and their needs.
  3. Technology considerations: understand how to use the website planning tool to prepare web content for import into the new website platform.

Writing considerations

Developing content for scanners

  • Attention spans of website visitors are very short.
  • Website users want to find answers quickly.
  • Utilize headings, short paragraphs, and lists.
  • Write in simple sentences.
  • Think note cards vs. novels.

Audience Considerations

Understanding external audiences

  • Consider who your external audience is and where they are in life.
  • Consider audience needs, wants and goals.
  • Consider the words your audiences use, and speak their language.
  • Incorporate task-related keywords into headings, links and lists.
  • Consider questions that are often asked and ensure they are addressed in an obvious way on the website.

Technology considerations

Introducing the transition process

  • Utilize an intermediate online software system (the website planning tool) for easy import into the new website platform.
  • Gain a strong understanding of how to author content in the website planning tool.
  • Discuss how to use alternative text on images and why it is important.
  • Learn how to strategically pick and incorporate keywords.
  • Understand navigation best practices and develop navigation proposals.