This is the result of the NSCA.com website redesign.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association website had not been redesigned since 2001. Besides the system architecture (static HTML files), we had a weak information architecture and no content strategy.
Users and audience
Multiple types of users frequented this ugly website, including coaches, university professors, researchers, and medical practitioners. In addition, there needed to be multiple levels – beginner, intermediate, and expert user.
As a Content Strategist and Web Producer, my goal was to develop a strategy and user interface that satisfied all of these content types and audiences. I was also a front-end developer, content management lead, and worked with vendors to choose a system.
- We used a waterfall project management approach, so iterating came after the three platforms were integrated.
- There were resource limitations.
Step 1: Inventory the content
Taking an inventory and auditing the content is always the first step I take in any content strategy. I view it as a form of discovery. It helps me understand the content landscape, the technical landscape, and gaps. Each audit is different but I usually rely on categories, metadata types, location, contact, and more.
At the NSCA, I audited the content twice: The first one helped me understand the type of content. The second audit helped me to develop a content model, which was especially important to map the new and existing content with the CMS templates.
Step 2: Researching the (internal) user
I used Design Thinking and Cardsorting exercises with the executives and staff members to gather requirements.
Optimal Workshop was a tool of choice at Schwab. At the NSCA, the trainers, executives, and managers gathered in a big room and categorized content with new labels. This exercise became the cornerstone of the taxonomy. I used the topics and audiences across the site and in the content management system to help content creators.
Step 3: Design
Next, I created low-fidelity wireframes to conceptualize the ideas that emerged from interviews and to migrate the assets from the old system to the new system.
The final design comps included a master template and templates for these content types: Publication, Education (text, audio, video), Certification, e-Commerce, Membership, Audience, and a single-column standalone page. Below are a few examples of the redesigned website.
Outcomes and Lessons
While these are estimated numbers, here was the impact:
- 2.4K visitors per day
- Earned about $32 from sponsorships per day
- 7000 page impressions per day
- Ranked 212,000 globally
- 3K visitors per day
- Earned about $104.00 from sponsorships per day
- 11,000 page impressions per day
- Ranked 117,000 globally
In addition to the website success, NSCA members were asked about their impressions of the redesign. 100 percent of the members had a favorable or very favorable impression. The sample size was small, but the reaction was positive.