Sep
24
2017

2017, our achievements so far

Before we turn our attention to the upcoming academic year, our team is taking a step back to review the most significant achievements of 2017. The main areas of focus are on web strategy and governance, continuous work to support the University web development community, EdWeb enhancements and procuring a replacement web search service.

Web strategy and governance

A review and establishment of a new University Web Governance model, and the delivery of a new University Web Strategy are the main responsibilities of Colan Mehaffey, recruited last spring, in the new role of Head of Web Strategy and Technologies. One of the main activities to underpin these changes is a thorough organisation-wide web estate audit, with an aim to fully understand the extent of it, as well as existing risks, concerns and opportunities.

The following blog posts from Stratos Filalithis and Colan Mehaffey provide more insight in these activities:

A new vision and strategy for web

The building blocks of our new strategy

The next stage of our web estate audit

Improving the student experience with EdWeb

New EdWeb enhancements support a better student experience in new interactive ways. Implementation of javascript support has enabled the web development community to provide further integration with third party service and content providers.

Prime examples of the opportunities that lie ahead are the implementation of email marketing tools such as Dotmailer and the provision of a Live Chat feature.

In the following 50 second video, Bruce Darby explains in which ways this has been achieved.

Enhancing student experience with new functionality for EdWeb.

Training and support development

Responding to demand, we’ve made improvements to the delivery of our key editorial training course, Effective Digital Content (formerly Writing for the Web), making the course available online and on-demand.

We’ve also provided over 30 in-person sessions to educate, inform and develop the University community. Our commitment to continual improvement and feedback from the community has led to the introduction of new mailing lists and online resources.

In this 32 second video, Duncan MacGruer details the key areas of progress in training delivery this year so far.

Introducing design thinking to the University

Successful digital projects, effective digital products and services and great user experiences need multidisciplinary collaboration. In our team, we value techniques that facilitate this multidisciplinary approach very high, and we are helping business units across the University who calling on us to help them to solve their digital strategy, research and design challenges. To further support adoption in the organisation, we developed a half day training session on the topic which forms part of our user experience and design thinking training programme.

In this one minute video, the main aspects of why it is important to use workshops to build design thinking, and our activities, are summarised:

Using new development processes to enhance EdWeb

Our Tech Team recently delivered the first release of Social Media Sharing functionality into EdWeb CMS. This functionality allows any pages on the University website to be shared through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Email. Apart from delivering new functionality, this was a pilot project to use the full process to create new EdGEL elements and deploy them in EdWeb. It reinforced the importance of planning effort to deliver EdGEL components within any project having digital design outputs, skills requirements and following the full process, separating EdGEL from EdWeb.

EdGEL before EdWeb… a social media story

Procuring a replacement University-wide web search service

The procurement exercise launched in September 2016 has now concluded. Funnelback was awarded the contract to deliver a new web search facility for the University.

Our vision is to provide a search service that can reach, use, categorise, relate and return all of the content, information and data required to guide the University audiences to fulfil their tasks as quickly and as efficient as possible.

In this one minute video, Stratos Filalithis gives an overview of the objectives and opportunities that lie ahead.

A vision for a new search experience, and beyond…

Funnelback website

Finishing off the calendar year on a high

The plans for the rest of 2017 include activities to capitalise on our success, while new projects will pave the way for an even better, more consistent and coherent user digital experience.

The work around web strategy and governance will continue, while, for EdWeb, work is planned for reviewing requirements and delivering enhancements around events.

The Digital Transformation User Experience programme will ensure continuation of efforts to establish services that focus in delivering an overall better user experience, using tools such as EdGEL, while our focus in the community will remain one of our stronger reference points.

As always, watch this space!

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