Redesigning Harvard's flagship website as an inclusive, accessible experience

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Description

In February 2021 Harvard University launched a new flagship website, a critical test for a new Digital Accessibility Policy adopted two years prior. From day one, accessibility was the bedrock of the project: the new site presented an opportunity for Harvard to ensure that our digital experiences are inclusive of all audiences. Through collaboration with a web design firm Modern Tribe, Harvard's content and accessibility teams worked in partnership, ensuring that accessibility was embedded in every step of the 10-month process. The shared commitment to accessibility led to beautiful designs and interactions across the new site and a platform for accessibility dialogues to happen across the University. In this session, we'll share the lessons we learned along the way, and how internal and external teams came together to create an accessible, inclusive digital gateway to Harvard.

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Presenters

  • Melissa Lesica

    Director of Content Strategy / Associate Director for Content Strategy, Harvard University

    Melissa Lesica is the Director of Content Strategy at Harvard University. She manages a team that produces, manages and measures Harvard's flagship digital properties, including Harvard.edu, the Harvard Gazette news website, the @Harvard social media channels and a variety of email newsletters. Melissa has worked in higher education for 14...

  • Aaron Baker

    Pronouns: he/him/his
    Associate Director of Content Strategy, Harvard University

    Aaron Baker's primary responsibility is measuring the impact of digital content produced for Harvard University's flagship digital products (harvard.edu, The Harvard Gazette, and university-wide social media channels) and using those analytics to inform content strategy. He supports Harvard University Public Affairs (HPAC) as a data evangelist—helping writers, editors, and social...

  • Janell Sims

    Pronouns: she/her
    Digital Accessibility Consultant, Harvard University

    During my time at Harvard, I've guided diverse teams through digital transformations and advocated for user-focused, accessible experiences in everything we do - in every communication and on every platform. I’ve built long-lasting communities of support and driven engagement and collaboration at every level, from administration to stakeholders to leadership.

  • Kyle Unzicker

    Pronouns: He/Him
    Creative Director, Modern Tribe

    Kyle Unzicker is a stay-at-home designer and family man. Over the last nine years, he has led strategy, design, and frontend development for clients such as Harvard University, eBay, Little League, and Mozilla.