We were happy to welcome Sarah Horton as the keynote speaker for the 2013 HighEdWeb New England Regional Conference.
Sarah Horton is Web Strategy Project Lead on the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative, a project to provide comprehensive, consistent, and cost-efficient web publishing services for the University. Sarah is responsible for digital strategy and user experience design, promoting quality and compliance with University guidelines and best practices.
Sarah has been working in interaction design since 1991, starting at the Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media and then at Dartmouth College, first as an instructional technologist and later as Director of Web Strategy, Design, and Infrastructure. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for user experience, bringing user-centered design processes to web development efforts. She has over 50 publications to her name, including three books, one book chapter, and many professional, magazine, and news articles, including an article on web accessibility for the New York Times. Her first book, Web Style Guide, is now in its third edition and has been translated into eight languages.
Innovative Ideas Need An Innovation Process: Lessons Learned from the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative
As higher education web professionals, innovation is part and parcel of the work we do. We regularly put forward new technologies and new approaches, and are charged with seeing those innovations adopted by their intended audience. Many are disruptive innovation projects, where our task is to shake things up and change how people do things. But we don’t typically think ourselves as innovators, working on innovation projects, supported by an innovation process.
The Harvard Web Publishing Initiative is a disruptive innovation project. University leadership launched the three-year project to address the need for a unified strategy and coordinated services and support for web publishing. The innovation is an easy-to-use web publishing platform that supports standards and best practices, with a corresponding service offering to encourage high-quality websites. It’s disruptive because, to be successful, we need departments to change what they are doing—to adopt the platform and service in place of their current approach, and instead of other options.
We are now about halfway into the project and have learned a great deal in the process. This case study will examine ways in which our approach could be strengthened by adopting an innovation process.
Thanks to Higher Ed Experts for sponsoring the keynote for all five of HighEdWeb’s 2013 regional conferences.