Businesses want return on their web investment. To do that, user experience professionals need to step out from behind the screen, take a seat at the table, balance user and business needs, and create a positive environment for change. Armed with an approach I sometimes call “strategic nagging,” this is the story of how I became a change agent using IA and content strategy to transform the 160-year-old American Society of Civil Engineers for a digital-first world.
Let’s talk about honing the empathic, organisational, and analytical skills we already have to diffuse disruption and work with people and processes, as well as information. Patience and persistence makes our message pervasive so we can motivate decision-makers, find allies, persuade detractors, and provide direction to practitioners.
When I became ASCE’s Web Director in January 2013, I thought I’d tinker with some content management issues, help rewrite some content, and provide governance guidance. Little did I know that I would use change management tactics disguised as web strategy, design, and development to get them to adopt an overarching digital strategy to better reach its members, grow revenue, and start to make stuff that really matters. We’re reaching a pivotal moment, and this is the story so far.