I dedicate this post to Donny Behneman as my latest mantra has become “Does this webpage spark joy?” Or a variation, “Does this PDF spark joy?” Or “Does this photo spark joy?”
As we work our way through the UTC website, one topic in each intake meeting has to do with a review of pages that can potentially be deleted. Old, outdated content contributes, in large part, to the refresh effort. Schedules from 2014, a PDF form from 2011, a photo of a student who has long since graduated all come to light during the refresh process.
Like the box of stuff you’ve moved from house to house over the years that has not been opened since it was packed, the refresh gives us a moment to pause and reflect on the contents. If you haven’t used it in the last year, if it doesn’t link anywhere on the current site, if it no longer “sparks joy,” then it’s time to clean house.
With approximately 5,900 pages on the current UTC website, and facing migration of those pages to our new Drupal content management system this fall, we have a goal of reducing that number dramatically so we don’t move pages that are no longer needed, used or loved.
PDFs are a prime candidate for deletion as they pose an accessibility challenge (another blog post in the future). We’ve discovered well into the hundreds of PDFs so far, and we’re only about 50 percent of the way through the website refresh process!
Other candidates are documents that are not necessarily public-facing. For example, a document template for a department might be best stored in OneDrive where all department faculty and staff have access rather than on a website page.
All those unloved, unused pages also clog up search results (another post in the future – search engine optimization).
Suffice it to say, throwing stuff out is hard. We may not be classified as hoarders, but we do like to hold on to things we just might need in the future.
By the way, if you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo by now or the KonMari Method™ she promotes, you might have seen her making the rounds on the late night talk shows, her series on Netflix, or even popping up on Twitter on April 1 (The @metmuseum hires Marie Kondo….).
Cleaning out the website clutter definitely sparks joy in this Project Director.