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The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI): Improving Announcement and Blog Findability

11 October 2018
By David Conrad

As you know from previous blogs and Public Meeting sessions, ITI is well into its tenth month of work and much progress has been made in that time. As Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Ashwin Rangan wrote about in June 2018, we're rebuilding ICANN's technical architecture with a new document management system (DMS) and content management system (CMS). This work is one of the foundational elements of ITI.

The other foundational piece is the content strategy work, which I wrote about during the project kickoff in January 2018. This important effort includes auditing all pages and files on https://icann.org, creating a new taxonomy for ICANN terms, defining and implementing an information architecture (IA), and improving your search experience. We're pleased to report that the audit of all https://icann.org pages and files is complete.

Implementing Improved Findability

With a significant amount of the foundational work behind us, the ITI team is able to turn its attention to using this new architecture to implement the enhanced findability we have promised you since the outset of this project. Today, the ITI team launched six redesigned pages for your feedback. These pages include:

  • Announcements
  • Blogs
  • Announcements Advanced Search
  • Blogs Advanced Search
  • For Journalists, and
  • What's New.

Announcements and Blogs are two of the most-visited and critical pages we have on https://icann.org. It's the way we keep the community informed of significant ICANN Board, community, and organization (org) news. We began with these pages because of the number and variety of community members who access this information every day.

New and Improved Search Feature

We have listened to your feedback and worked to apply best practices to offer new and improved features to make it easier for our community to find information. These features include:

  • Breadcrumbs – a secondary navigation feature that shows users their location within a website and allows users to trace a path back to their original landing point (new feature).
  • Consistent language navigation across the site for the six United Nations languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish (new feature).
  • Easy access to related content by topic or author (new feature).
  • Advanced search to allow users to filter information by date range, Board region, blog author, topics, or keywords (new feature).
  • Persistent social sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and copy page link (improved feature).

Other Improvements

The reorganized For Journalists page provides the media with easier access to ICANN org's regional media contacts and other media resources. The refreshed What's New page is a one-stop-shop for new content and features on https://icann.org including: announcements, blogs, infographics, event information, and new initiatives.

We Need Your Feedback

You can access and provide input on these pages by visiting https://feedback.icann.org. The feedback site provides instructions on how to access the pages and how to contribute your observations, recommendations, and ideas. It is important to note that these pages are in the early stages of construction and the functionality is not complete. We want your feedback first before we begin full implementation of all the functionality. This is to reduce development cost and time. The features that are not complete include:

  • The Subscribe feature is in development, which means the Subscribe button you will see is a placeholder. Once this feature is implemented, you will be able to subscribe to the types and topics of content you are most interested in receiving directly to your email inbox.
  • The new taxonomy is not yet fully implemented. We only recently completed the audit and we are in the process of consolidating the taxonomy and testing its effectiveness. I will write more on this taxonomy testing in an upcoming blog. This means that only partial search is available on these new test pages.
  • Only a sample of less than 50 announcements and blogs have been migrated to this testing environment. This means you will only be able to search within those 50 announcements and blogs.

The feedback we are seeking from you is directional and should include answering the following questions:

  • Are we on the right track?
  • Are the search filters useful?
  • Are there filters missing that you would like to use?

Once we receive feedback from the community, we'll make refinements based on your input.

ICANN63 Session

If you prefer to provide your feedback directly, we will be holding an ITI session at ICANN63 in Barcelona. During this session, we will provide you with an update on the project and give you the opportunity to ask the team questions about this initiative and the newly released content.

The Information Transparency Initiative: Project Update
Wednesday 24 October 2018, 0830-0930
Location: 116 (ALAC)

If you are unable to attend in person, visit the ICANN63 Public Meeting site to obtain remote participation details. This session will be available into English, French, and Spanish.

We hope to see you in Barcelona!

For more information about ITI, visit https://feedback.icann.org. You'll find links to previous ITI blogs, background documentation, and more. If you're interested in learning more about ITI or have a suggestion or question, email us at informationtransparency@icann.org.


David Conrad

David Conrad