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A Web Designer’s Guide to Being Lazy

A talk by Conny Liegl at edUI 2013

About the Talk

November 5, 2013 5:30 AM

Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA

Sorry to disappoint, but this talk is not the ultimate guide on how to avoid working. It is instead an example of a workflow paradigm shift and supportive technology that will allow us to use the eight hours at our desks more efficiently.

Working in higher education, we are continuously faced with budget cuts that directly impact the amount and variety of our daily tasks. The official job descriptions barely reflect the actual day-to-day work we encounter: we wear many hats and have to carefully manage our time as well as the increasing number of projects. Tedious maintenance of content across different platforms is often a frustrating and time-consuming part of our daily routine.

That’s why it is essential to minimize the amount of duplicated efforts and to establish effective and efficient workflows. The goal is to create modular and portable content that can easily be reused for multiple purposes.

Introducing the philosophy of COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) at Cal Poly, we learned to leverage plugins and customize PHP templates to create content in our WordPress instance just once. The single post then generates a universal output that can feed to our main website, university portal, digital signage and social media platforms.

Content consolidation across all platforms allows for a higher recognition factor; physical space and online presence are visually connected and complement one another. Visitors of our library already recognize and appreciate these changes.

As a bonus, it allows web designers to dedicate more time to other valuable tasks during their eight hours at work and to realize: “Yes, it’s ok to be lazy!”

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