Bringing in focus

The Harvard University homepage redesign marked a departure from our previous homepage content strategy. Instead of starting with the stakeholders and trying to surface everything that is important to everyone at the institution, we let extensive user research efforts guide our project. This research then informed a narrative framework and messaging engagement that focused on user attitudes and aspirations, as well as a design system that was purpose-built for this kind of storytelling. One year later, we reflect on how our guiding philosophy of putting users at the center of our content strategy has paid off.

In Focus, our immersive, topic-driven content strategy, aims to engage, inform and inspire millions of homepage visitors from around the world. With topics ranging from poetry to quantum physics to accessibility and heart health, our editorial calendar has managed to unify dozens of decentralized content creators from around the university. And utilizing a modular design system with a robust set of WordPress custom blocks, we are able to develop rich content experiences to showcase the depth and breadth of research and scholarly activity all across Harvard. Through these explorations, we relate Harvard to the world by covering exciting developments for the future and uncovering painful truths from the past.

Join us to learn more about why In Focus was created and how the work is maintained to sustainably create a unique homepage several times a month. We will cover our approach to stakeholder engagement and we’ll explain the tools and strategies we use to reinforce those partnerships, as well as how we communicate success.


  • Aaron Baker — Harvard University
  • Melissa Lesica — Harvard University

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