Dan Wiggle

Web developer

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  • Feb 18, 16

    Five years ago the proportion of people visiting the university’s website on a mobile or tablet device was just 2%. It’s now over 25%. The need for our website to work better on a range of different devices is obvious.

    One of our aims for this year is to update the current site to be responsive: that is, to fit to whatever screen it is displayed on whether that’s a mobile, tablet or computer. We blogged before Christmas about our plans for rolling out new responsive page templates and what we’re introducing today is part 3 of that plan - an incremental improvement to existing pages that can be applied to all CMS pages.

    The new study pages, as they appear on different sized devices

    We’ve developed new styles for existing CMS-published web pages which do two key things. First, they now work better on smaller devices. Second, they incorporate new fonts and colours to make for more cohesive user journey around the site. At this time we haven’t incorporated departmental colours, but options for colour will follow in the future.

    Give us your feedback

    We have a test version of the website at which you can preview the new design and send us your feedback. To access the test site, which is available on the University network only (including via the VPN if you’re off site), go to the page you are interested in on the main website and replace the www in the website address with cmsmigrate. So, for instance, if you want to try out www.york.ac.uk/about/ you would change the address in your browser to read cmsmigrate.york.ac.uk/about/.

    Once you’re on the test site and looking at a CMS-published page that’s affected by the new designs, you’ll see a toggle switch in the top right-hand corner. Clicking it will turn on the new styles for you.



    If you make your browser window narrower or wider you’ll see the layout adapt to the size of the window.



    If you visit cmsmigrate.york.ac.uk on a mobile or tablet and turn the new styles on you’ll see that the content automatically adapts to the size of the screen.

    Have a look around and let us know if you spot any issues by clicking the ‘Leave Feedback’ button in the bottom right-hand corner.' We’d really value your input.

    What next?

    We’re hoping to start rolling out these new designs very soon on an opt-in basis for the different sections of the site. If you’re involved in maintaining your department’s web pages, we have a separate blog post for you about preparing for, testing and activating the new designs.
  • Dec 22, 15

    Early in 2015 we launched new research web pages, our first to be optimised to work on all devices. Since then we’ve launched new pages for prospective undergraduates, prospective postgraduates and we'll soon launch a new version of the homepage. At the same time we’ve been working with departments to rewrite and rebuild course pages.
    This has been a long process for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's just complicated work that takes a while. Secondly, we're a very small team who have to keep the website up to date and manage a significant support load. Business-as-usual takes around two-thirds of our time which doesn't leave much resource available for new developments.
    Many of you have been asking when you can have access to new templates in the CMS to allow you to rebuild your pages. This post is to let you know what's happening, why (regrettably) it's not quite as simple as just enabling some new templates and to explain what we’re doing about it.

    Thoughts on how we manage the website

    Two quick asides about terminology:

    1. I use department throughout these notes as shorthand for all types of organisational unit.
    2. I don't refer to department websites. Instead I refer to sections or pages of the site. When we hear from website users, they almost always refer to just the University website. We have a big website, but it's just one site and not many small ones. That's an important distinction. It signals a shift in mindset that we think is important as we continue to improve the website.

    </asides>

    In the seven years we've been using the Web CMS, we've given basic training to over 1,000 users. Those users have added over 50,000 pages to the site, often with little governance and as a result we now have a site with more content than we have resource to maintain. Most web professionals would say that sounds like a recipe for disaster. That we still have a usable site in that context is testament to the great efforts made by all those involved.
    But, despite those great efforts, the site has considerable problems. It is littered with repetition, out of date information, broken links, broken layouts, huge image downloads, flabby writing, confusing navigation, missing calls to action and critical information lost amongst minutiae.
    Modernising and optimising a site for mobile takes more than just applying a new design. It means fixing those underlying problems and streamlining the information we provide. It means we need a change of approach.
    Described below are three areas of work, all interrelated, that take us in the right direction.

    1. Centralised course listings

    Course pages, for obvious reasons, are amongst the most important pages we publish. For some time we've been the only Russell Group university whose course information is only located in department pages.  In many cases course discovery is difficult and in some cases impossible. We also recognise that there is a big burden on departments to maintain the quality of the course pages in their areas. Recent consumer protection guidance has made it more important than ever that we get this right.
    To address this shortcoming, we've moved 50+ course listings from departmental to central mobile-optimised pages over the past year. These include courses from Departments of Mathematics, Philosophy, Environment and more. They've been rewritten from scratch to ensure the content is consistent, high quality and most importantly meets user needs. For ongoing maintenance, the central team apply any changes so that we maintain that quality and consistency whilst ensuring that departments continue to approve and sign-off on the published content.
    We've relied on agencies to help with writing capacity throughout 2015. In the new year we intend to add a dedicated post to the team to speed up the process. Departments who have the resources to write their own course page drafts will also be able to do so and we will work with you to edit and put them in place.
    The current crop of centralised course pages show a range of positive metrics in Google Analytics. We're confident that this is a really positive step forward for how we showcase our courses to prospective students.

    2. Mobile-optimised designs for new pages

    The new mobile-optimised designs are built on a completely new framework of code and CMS templates. We've followed the principles of atomic design to build a scalable system which should serve us well for a good number of years to come.
    By mid-February we hope to make these new templates available for the creation of new sections of the site (eg. new research centres, standalone projects).
    For existing sections of the site, there is a lot of work to do to move to the new designs, including (but not limited to):
    • Training in use of the new templates
    • Auditing existing pages, whether they are required and whether the CMS is the best place for them (the wiki is now a better choice for a lot of internal-facing information)
    • Rewriting and optimisation of all content so that it works effectively on devices of all sizes
    • Sourcing and preparation of new images so that they display correctly on devices of all sizes
    • Logistical planning for a seamless transfer from old pages to new
    This is work that departments would struggle to do in isolation, but that our small team doesn't have the resources to support. Rather than focusing on big changes for a few departments, we suggest below a different approach for existing pages as our first priority.

    3. An incremental improvement to all existing CMS pages

    Given the amount of work involved in rebuilding 50,000+ pages from scratch, there's a compelling need to do something to modernise the site design and improve the mobile user experience in the short term.
    To that end, we're working on a retro-fit solution to apply to existing pages in the CMS. It won't be zero-effort for departments, but it will be days, rather than weeks or months.
    We hope to be ready to start deploying to early adopter departments in late March.

    So what can you do right now?

    I hope the above sets the scene and gives you a sense of what we're trying to achieve. But you may be wondering where it leaves you. What can you do right now?
    1. Let us know if you're interested in centralising your course pages, using the new designs for new pages or piloting our retro-fit design. Please ensure you have the support of your department though. Successful outcomes depend on departments committing enough resources to see work through.
    2. Fix the basics. Mobile-optimisation and modern design are important but it is just as important to ensure what we have already is the best it can be. Fix the dead links, optimise your landing pages, edit your text, highlight your calls to action, clarify your navigation. All those, and more, are just as fundamental to the page as the aesthetics of the design. We’ll be running content clinics each month from February onwards, during which you’ll be able to sit down with us and get some advice in this area. Sign up now if you’d like to be involved.
    3. Let us know what your web governance structure is within your department; how you update, approve and manage your content. Check your entry on our site map wiki and update it if necessary. If you don't have a governance structure, consider defining one. It will help you manage your pages and help us to help you going forward. Again, if you’d like to know more about this come along to one of our content clinics and we’ll talk you through it.

    Improving our communications

    We recognise that whilst we’ve been doing all of this our communications regarding plans, priorities and direction of travel have fallen short. We’re sorry about that, and one of our priorities for 2016 is to put it right.

    In the meantime, feel free to ask questions in the comments or to me directly (dan.wiggle@york.ac.uk) and I'll be happy to answer.
  • Jun 08, 15

    Every fortnight on Wednesdays at 1.15pm we run screenings of webinars or recorded conference presentations about all things to do with digital comms. We do this to help keep our knowledge up to date and to provide a very informal opportunity to discuss new approaches to what we do.

    Anyone is welcome to join us and we publish details of what's coming up on Twitter and on a wiki page (UoY only) in advance.

    In the past we've learned about:

    • Workflow for responsive redesign projects
    • Pair writing for effective content creation
    • The future of social media marketing
    • User-centred photography
    • Using HTTPS for all website traffic
    That's a pretty eclectic list, but that reflects the nature of what we do! We wouldn't expect most people to want to come every time, so feel free to drop in just occasionally.

    This week we're going to learn about programmatic advertising. We'll be in Derwent College room D/L/049 and will start at 1.15pm sharp.
  • May 14, 15

    One of the big challenges of a responsive design, especially for a large site like ours, is how to tackle navigation.

    When you're designing for large screens there's a lot of horizontal space available, so you can include quite a lot of links without feeling that you're overcrowding the page.

    Our header navigation is fairly typical of other university websites, with links to all the major areas of our site and links for our main audiences.

    Our header contains 15 links and a search box
    Counting the links, there are 15 in total, plus a search box. Here's the full list:

    1. Homepage (via logo)
    2. Study
    3. Research
    4. Business
    5. Departments
    6. International
    7. About 
    8. News
    9. Events
    10. Contact
    11. Jobs
    12. Visitors
    13. Alumni
    14. Current students
    15. Staff
    So, how do we fit all of these links in to a design that's going to work on small screens? Actually, let's take a step back and look at a different question: do we need all of these links in the first place?

    Looking at the numbers

    Taking inspiration from the GDS post on 7 ways we’ve used Google Analytics ‘outside the box’, I wanted to get an idea of how our users are moving between the main parts of our website, and whether they were using the global navigation links that we provide in our headers.

    Google Analytics isn't great at answering this type of question directly, so first of all I exported a load of data using Supermetrics Data Grabber for Excel, looking at what the sources of traffic were to all of the pages that are available in our global navigation. 


    Configuring a report in Supermetrics Data Grabber
    I grabbed the data for the whole of last year so that any seasonal variations were taken into account. Supermetrics Data Grabber can handily download unsampled data, which is another problem that Google Analytics has when you try to look at big picture problems over a long time period.

    Some of the raw data - not pretty (yet)
    I then started to clean up the data, replacing the path names with plain English labels and adding values to show what level in the hierarchy we were looking at.


    This is already quite useful, and allows me to quickly answer questions that would be time consuming in Analytics.

    For example, if I wanted to see how many pageviews the staff homepage gets that come from either the Study or Research branches, I just need to tick a few boxes and Excel's filters take care of the rest. (If you're interested, the answer is 4,450).

    Excel's filters are a quick way of segmenting traffic

    Pivoting

    We can then go a step further and put this data into a pivot table.

    The table below shows branches of our site along the top, and the pages that are available from our global navigation down the side, so we can see how much traffic is going from one area of the site to another.


    Expressing these numbers as percentages and applying some conditional formatting lets us see some patterns. Right away we can see how the homepage is acting as a major jumping-off point to the other areas of the site (which shouldn't come as a surprise).

    Patterns begin to emerge

    We can also see which parts of the site have strong linkages between them, and where the links are weaker.

    What next?

    We're still making sense of this data, and are looking at other sources such as CrazyEgg and search logs, but we're getting the strong feeling that we don't need to provide as many global navigation options as we do currently, and certainly not as prominently. The homepage is the exception to this as it's a starting point for a diverse range of users, but most of the time it's more important to present users with links related to the content that they're looking it rather than links to completely different areas of the site.
  • Mar 03, 15

    After a brief hiatus Show and tell returns next week with an extended format - not only can you get to see and hear what's happening in the world of digital you'll also have the opportunity to get updates in relation to print, internal communications and all things marketing.

    This extended format follows our restructure which took place in January. Our former Internal Communications, Editorial and Creative Content and Student Recruitment Marketing teams merged with Digital and together we now form the Strategic Marketing and Digital Communications team. We've got lots of exciting things planned and many already in development so do come along to our Show and tell sessions and find out what we're up to.

    Our next session is scheduled for Monday 9 March - 10:30 in D/056 Derwent and we’ll have four sessions on the following topics:

    • Insights from this years focus groups - Ali Sherratt
    • What did our brand perception research tell us? - Alison Kerwin
    • Student communications: insights from our competitors - Christine Comrie
    • Recent photoshoots by John Houlihan and Mark Woodward - Jilly Lovett and Dodi Beardshaw 

    As always keep an eye on our wiki (staff only) for details of future events.

    We hope to see you there.



  • Feb 09, 15

    The interactive campus map was launched a couple of years ago, and one of the first things I was assigned to do was to update it a little bit. In particular, we wanted to be able to deep link to individual points the map and to have more information about a site pop up when you click on the markers.

    Deep linking will make it easier for locations around campus to link to the map with their location highlighted. It's been requested from a few places so I'm happy to say it's now in place. When you click on an individual building you'll see that the URL in the address bar updates with a hash reference at the end (the "#heslington-hall" bit in https://www.york.ac.uk/about/maps/campus/#heslington-hall). Going directly to that URL will open the map zoomed in with a marker dropped in that particular spot.



    The information pop-ups currently display the name of the location, which is handy when you're looking at all the cafes around campus and need to know which one you're looking at! We're getting some ideas about what other information would be useful to include in the pop-up. If you've got any ideas, let us know in the comments below.

    We've got lots more plans for the map, including a location search and room search to make it even more useful for students, visitors and staff. Watch this space over the next few weeks!
  • Feb 06, 15

    Following on from the introduction of our new search engine last month, we've just rolled out a new feature to help make searching our website easier.

    Searches from the homepage and other top-level parts of the website (Study, Research, etc) now show autocomplete suggestions once you've typed in the first few letters of your query.



    Clicking a suggestion will take you to the search results for that term. The suggestions all match content that appears on our website, so the results you get should always be relevant.

    Happy searching!
  • Jan 20, 15

    I've just started in the Digital team as a Front-end Web Developer - writing HTML, CSS and Javascript. My background is working for web agencies, developing sites and delivering to clients. It will be a huge change to work on a single website, but I'm looking forward to it.

    We've got huge plans for updating the design, structure and deployment of the UoY website, and I've got a lot of ideas about the role the Digital team will play in this exciting new phase.

    I'm an alumnus of the University, although it's nearly 15 years since I graduated. It's great to be back and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with life on campus.

  • Jan 16, 15

    You may have noticed that searching on the University website has become a lot better recently. This is down to the fact that we launched our new search engine this week, replacing our old Google Mini solution with Funnelback.



    What's new?


    While we've kept the design of the search mostly the same as it was before, a lot has changed behind the scenes that means that search results should be more relevant and come back a lot quicker. The new search is a lot better at dealing with misspellings - of which we see a lot in our search logs, especially when it comes to words like 'accommodation', which is spelled incorrectly as many times as it's spelled correctly. 

    A couple of our favourite new features include:

    Autocomplete



    As soon as you start typing your query you'll see suggestions for searches that match content on our site.

    This currently is only enabled for searches carried out from york.ac.uk/search, but we'll soon be adding it to search boxes on the rest of the site too.

    Document type filtering




    If you know that you're looking for a file of a particular type, the document filter on the right hand side will allow you to narrow down your search.
  • Nov 06, 14

    Research pages


    We've been working with an external agency on a redesign of our research pages, to be launched early next year. So far we've had a collaborative sketching session where we explored ideas for the research homepage, and the agency have delivered a set of wireframes which we've given feedback on. We'll be receiving the finished designs later this week, and then quickly moving on to implementation and content population.

    Study web content


    • Country pages for international students - Tasha has been populating the new first batch of the new country pages, which will be live in sprint 32.
    • Digital style guide - the team has all fed back on the guide, which will be available to view on the wiki shortly after some final amends.
    • Prioritising our projects - we've agreed a list with Student Recruitment and Admissions for which aspects of the study web content we're going to be working on next.
    • Course finder audit - Tasha has been making sure that all of the results in our course search link to actual course pages (some link to department homepages) and Paul has been reviewing the search terms that people enter that don't return any results.

    New search engine


    Dan and Paul met with Funnelback, who will be providing the new search engine for our website. Funnelback are currently setting up the software, and we plan to launch in early December.
  • Nov 04, 14

    The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a small addition to the online campus map: you can now switch the map to full screen mode, allowing you to see a lot more of the campus at once.


    Hopefully this will make it easier to navigate around our ever-expanding campus.

    We know that there's still a lot of other functionality that you'd all like added to the map - like being able to search for rooms and buildings - we're hoping to work on some more of these kinds of features in our upcoming sprints, so stay tuned.
  • Oct 27, 14
    Next up in our regular series of lunchtime digital screenings is a usability test demo by Steve Krug, author of Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability and Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (both essential reading!).

    In this short video (25 minutes) Steve will run through an example usability test - if you've ever thought of running a usability test yourself but aren't sure what types of questions to ask, this is a great place to start.

    Everyone welcome, feel free to join us in HG17 Heslington Hall this Wednesday at 1pm.
  • Oct 23, 14

    Course pages

    Paul's work coding the newly designed course pages is close to completion, as is the first batch of content which is being developed. We're hoping the first pages will be ready to publish by the end of our next sprint (and we're quite excited!).

    Digital content principles

    As part of developing a consistent style for the University's digital content, Tasha has published six crucial digital content principles (internal only), available on our wiki pages.

    A more detailed digital style guide is in the pipeline awaiting one final review.

    Excellence Hub events

    We've streamlined the process for adding Excellence Hub events, making it much easier for the Universities of Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York to publicise events for high-achieving school and college students.

    Currently there are 280 places available for subject taster sessions at York for students in years 7 - 11, and further sessions for sixth-formers at Sheffield and Hull. More events will be added throughout the year.

    Site Manager survey

    It's not too late to give us your feedback on the Web CMS! We'll keep the survey open until the end of the month, but don't delay, fill it in now!

    Quick wins

    Some of the smaller improvements we've made this sprint include:
    • Setting up the shortcuts you'd expect to be in place - e.g. york.ac.uk/hr. This should make a significant impact on the number of 404 errors we receive each month.
    • Moving more of the remaining old-style homepage layouts into the new multiple-columns format. It's so much easier to edit your columns!

    And finally...

    Don't forget to come to our Digital Screening and Show and Tell sessions (internal only), to learn more about what we've been up to.
  • Oct 10, 14

    Sprints seem to go by in a flash lately. We've just wrapped up another busy two weeks, so here's what we've been up to...

    Course pages

    We've continued our work with an external agency on a new design and content for course pages. In the first instance these are for five departments, but in time the new design will be available for everyone.

    The design of the page is done, so in this sprint just gone Paul has been busy building the code. In the sprint we're starting now, we'll hopefully finish that work and start integrating with the CMS.

    In parallel with the coding work, we're also working on the new content for the course pages. It should all come together in the next few weeks...

    Country pages

    Following on from the focus day last sprint, Paul and Tasha have forged ahead with new country-specific pages for prospective international students.

    Paul's been working on the details of the design and implementing it in the CMS. Tasha has worked with colleagues in the International Office to plan content development.

    Content development toolkit

    Producing web content isn't as easy as it looks. It's easy to put text and images on a page of course, but making that content effective is much tougher.

    Tasha has continued work on a content development toolkit which will help us and everyone else at York to create consistent and compelling content.

    We've finished some big-picture digital content principles this sprint. In the new sprint we're working on a nitty-gritty digital style guide, then hopefully we'll be ready to publish.

    Site Manager survey

    We've published a survey asking for your feedback about the web CMS and would really like as many people as possible to fill it in. We'll keep the survey open until the end of the month, but don't delay, fill it in soon!

    New post in the team

    Also this sprint, we've been working on a job description and advertising particulars for a new post in the team.

    Watch this space for details coming soon...

    Bits and bobs

    There have been lots of small(ish!) jobs this sprint too - everything from amends to Study at York pages to scoring big piles of tender documents. If you're interested, you can see more on our wiki (UoY only).

    Don't forget to come to Show and Tell (UoY only) and our digital screenings (UoY only) to find out more about what we're doing and learn with us.
  • Sep 25, 14

    What we've been working on in our most recent two-week sprint.


    Study pages

    In our last sprint notes we mentioned that our whole team would spend a day working together on the country-specific pages on the main Study site. We did this as a focus day, with the whole team working in the same room, without meetings, phone calls or emails!

    It was a great experience to work with the whole team concentrating on one task. It was also good to get a chance to share our progress with the International team about halfway through the day. While we didn't get everything done, we've made good progress on this area, and have since demonstrated more work to the International team. We also learnt a thing or so about setting realistic goals!

    We've also been working with Student Recruitment and Admissions on factual changes and updates to the Study site as the recruitment cycle has moved on for both prospective UG and PG students.


    Open days and social media

    The September open days happened during sprint 28. Many of us were involved in meeting and greeting students and their parents throughout the day as well as ensuring our digital presentations were updated and ready to wow.

    On the social media front we managed tweets throughout the day, not only to explain what events were happening but also responding to questions and observations sent via Twitter. We wrapped up with a photo album for Facebook and created a summary of social media updates during the days.

    We've also started the process of communicating with arriving students via social media, and will continue this through arrivals weekend in sprint 29.

    Updates to interactive maps

    We've updated our interactive maps ready for the new year: especially important for new students in Constantine College! 


    Reminders about other updates

    We're just about ready to send our second email update. Join our web-cms-users email list if you'd like to receive these monthly updates.

    We've also made some changes to our Show and Tell schedule so take a look at our new dates and get them in your diary. These sessions give us an opportunity to show you what we've been doing, and give you an opportunity to ask questions about the work afterwards.

  • Sep 25, 14

    What we've been working on in our most recent two-week sprint.


     Responsive design

    Following on from sprint 26's work Paul has been performing tests with Foundation in the Web CMS. He gave a presentation (internal only) at the Show and Tell that demonstrated some of his work as well as illustrating what it might mean for content in the Web CMS. 


    Study pages

    Tasha has been working on parts of the study site, including updating content ready for the September Open Days. We've also started planning how to update the country-specific pages in the Study site: in sprint 28 we will be devoting a day for the whole Digital Team to update these pages. 


    YouTube videos

    In a previous Show and Tell we mentioned the new captioning policy. Tom has worked through our YouTube videos and made sure that anything other than graduation had captions. 


    YorNight

    The European Researchers Night will also take place in York for the first time later this month. We've helped with their website in this sprint by providing some design and code advice. While you're on their website have a look at their competitions!


    Websites moving into the Web CMS

    IPUP have now successfully moved their website into the Web CMS and gone live. We'd also like to welcome their new web author, who was trained in the Web CMS recently. 


    Communicating with you

    We've carried on our work on improving communicating with web authors around the University. The first email update has now been sent, and the Show and Tell sessions and digital screenings are continuing. Join our web-cms-users email list if you'd like to receive our email updates. 



  • Aug 29, 14

    What we've been working on in our most recent two-week sprint.

    Confirmation, Adjustment and Clearing

    Tasha and Amanda worked with Student Recruitment and Admissions to provide a comprehensive list of vacancies for Adjustment and Clearing on A level results day, and to keep this up-to-date throughout the busy phase of Adjustment and Clearing. We also worked on social media to congratulate students confirming their place and to provide supportive messages from current students and alumni. 

    Responsive design

    Paul has been investigating ways to move the University website to a responsive design. At the Show and Tell Paul gave a presentation on what work this involves (internal only)  and a glimpse into the possible approaches we can take. 

    Course pages

    We're continuing to work with an external agency on the design and content of our course pages. After providing feedback on wireframes we've received a design proposal which we are considering and will send feedback on.  Alison gave a presentation on the background, and the progress so far, in the latest Show and Tell. 

    Websites moving into the Web CMS

    The Planning Office and Electronics have both started the process of migrating into the Web CMS. While moving the Planning Office pages we'll be looking at ensuring they sit in audience facing areas of our site: especially useful for users who are not familiar with the University's offices. There has also been a reorganisation with PRDU now sitting outside of the Politics website, helping to support the University's goal of increasing PRDU's inter-disciplinary activities. 

    Setting up a regular email update

    As part of our efforts to keep web authors informed of what's happening that might affect them, we've started a newsletter. Amanda will be sending out the first newsletter by the end of the week. 

    Show and Tell

    Don't forget you can come along to our regular  Show and Tell sessions to see quick presentations about what we've been up to lately and ask us questions. They're every fortnight on a Wednesday lunchtime and the next one is on 10 September.

  • Aug 14, 14

    This is our second post in which we tell you about the things that we've been working on in our most recent two-week sprint.

    Confirmation, Adjustment and Clearing

    Tasha has been leading the team though a lot of work to improve our content for students who will be joining us after receiving their exam results. As well as work on our listings page of clearing vacancies, we've also developed new content to guide students through the confirmation process, and have worked on other supporting pages within the study site to ensure that we're presenting York in the best possible light. We've introduced a new undergraduate study landing page and have improved our content around careers and sport.

    Search engine

    We now have an instance of Google Custom Search Engine ready to use in case our primary search engine fails. 

    York Researchers Night

    Dan and Paul have been helping the Events team with the branding and launch of the website for the York Researchers Night which is coming up in September.

    Course pages

    We're continuing to work with an external agency on the design and content of our course pages. We've provided feedback on the first set of wireframes and will continue to work closely with them through the design phase.

    Accommodation applications system

    Dan has been continuing to work with IT Services and Accommodation on the design and user experience of the new system that students will use to book their accommodation.

    Video captioning

    Following on from a request from the Disability and Accessibility group, Paul has been looking at firming up our policy on video captions on our YouTube channel. Although a lot of our videos were already captioned, it wasn't being done as a matter of course. We've decided that from now on, everything that goes on our YouTube channel will be captioned, and we've been looking at the captioning services available that will let us do this most efficiently. See our notes on publishing video for details, along with other things to bear in mind when using YouTube.

    Festival of Ideas analytics reports

    Tom has worked on the analysis of the stats from this year's Festival of Ideas. We tracked a lot more data this time and made use of goals in Google Analytics so we have some good insights into what worked best when it came to getting people to actually register for events.

    Show and Tell

    Don't forget you can come along to our regular Show and Tell sessions to see quick presentations about what we've been up to lately and ask us questions. They're every fortnight on a Wednesday lunchtime and the next one is on 27 August.
  • Aug 14, 14
    Hello!  I’ve recently joined the team as Digital Editor for Students.  It’s my job to improve the ‘digital experience’ for students whilst they’re at York - so that means I’ll be making sure all information students need whilst they’re studying with us can be easily found online and that it looks pretty.

    I’ve crossed the border from the University of Leeds, where I was Information Officer for the Jisc Regional Support Centre based there.  Hopefully, I’ll be putting some of the work done by Jisc on the ‘digital student’ into practice.

    I’m looking forward to meeting colleagues and getting your ideas on the kinds of improvements we can make.  Please do get in touch!

    Christine
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