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Info Portal

Building Community

In the summer of 2016, the University of Texas School of Information (iSchool) sought to incorporate and amplify student voices in its online presence. They envisioned a digital space that centralized access to information about student groups and activities while promoting student-derived narratives about the iSchool and the field of information.

The result was the Info Portal: a blog by students, for students. The Info Portal is an online community where iSchoolers can share their thoughts about topics in information as well as their experiences as students and information professionals.

My Roles

  Content Strategist    Editor-in-Chief

I was tasked with bringing the Info Portal to life. As the solo designer, information architect, and metadata manager, I created the Info Portal from the ground up in WordPress CMS. My primary design focus was for the site to be student-oriented and relatable to a diverse audience with a variety of professional interests, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the UT School of Information. Once the site launched in the fall of 2016, I served as editor-in-chief for a full year. Not only did I lead planning efforts for the monthly content publishing schedule but I also coordinated story submissions with student authors and collaborated with student organizations to promote content.

Content & Editorial Strategy

   Develop and implement standards for content creation and presentation
   Recruit a diverse stable of student authors and provide editorial support
   Generate readership and a sense of community

After conducting competitive analyses of other iSchool student blogs, I narrowed the scope of the project to highlight student interests and activities, to inspire the UT iSchool community and to inform prospective students (as well as other engaged parties) about the great things happening at the iSchool.

Blog Series

   Challenge: Focus scope of content and provide categorical organization
   Approach: Create structured blog series

To ensure quality content that fulfills the blog's purpose, I identified a set of broad categories that touch on different aspects of students’ graduate school life and experiences; content published on the blog must correspond with one of these categories. Imposing the series structure gives blog content an approachable, yet curated, feel.
Student Life
The following series explore life as a student at the University of Texas School of Information as well as what it’s like living and working in Austin, Texas.

   Day in the Life: A snapshot into the life of iSchool students.
   Perspectives: Students reflect on their experiences and discuss various topics in the information field.
   Reviews: Students reveal their thoughts on books and articles that captured their attention.
   Recap: Students share their experiences attending events or participating in programs.
In these series, students discuss career tips and advice on professional development.

   Advice: Students share career tips and resources for professional development.
   Student Q & A: An interview with students about their work or internship experiences.
   Interview with a Professional: Students interview working information professionals for grad school tips, career advice and more.

Student Leadership Collaboration

   Challenge: Generate and share student-oriented content that appeals to diverse professional interests
   Approach: Foster partnerships with leaders of iSchool student organizations to write, promote, and disseminate content

Student organizations proved to be the most effective channels for recruiting blog authors and promoting content. These mutually beneficial partnerships also ensured that a mix of traditional professions such as librarianship, archival science, and preservation were represented in addition to tech-oriented fields such as user experience (UX) and human-computer interaction (HCI).


Over the course of the year I managed the Info Portal, I accomplished the following:

  45 stories published

 15 student authors recruited

  2017 Update: The Info Portal is growing! Weekly Update, the iSchool's new student-run weekly podcast, is now on the Info Portal!