Web Publishers’ Community – June Update
As June comes to a close the WPC Session heard further updates on EdWeb’s progress and the development of a new University Web Accessibility Policy. To close the session participants watched a webinar entitled “The Mobile Content Mandate” presented by content strategist Karen McGrane.
Edweb Project Update – Bruce Darby
Bruce opened with the good news that performance optimisation has been successfully deployed. Consultants were brought in, their suggestions for infrastructure changes were followed and deployed to the live environment, and testing has revealed a vast improvement in speed.
Further developments include bulk publishing, which has been delivered but is subject to more testing until further notice, and page viewing restrictions which are now available. In addition, form development work is now complete.
Finally, EdWeb development is coming to an end with the final release on 10 August and work to continue in early 2016. Phase 3 of the migration is complete and phase 4 is underway. However, there may be adjustments to the schedule in order to alleviate pressure on the development team. Any changes will be communicated to lead publishers.
University Web Accessibility Policy – Bruce Darby
Bruce returned to present his work on developing an accessibility policy for the University website. Despite a growing awareness of and drive for improved web accessibility, an astonishingly low number of Russell Group universities have a web accessibility policy published on their website. It seemed fitting for the University of Edinburgh to take the lead and join ranks with those five institutions in order to add its voice to the issue of web accessibility.
Bruce worked on this as part of the Technical Information and Communication Committee (TIC) – a subgroup of the Student Disability Committee.
A policy group was formed consisting of Euan Cameron, Bruce Darby, Nick Dyson, Viki Galt, Jessie Paterson and Natalie Poyser. After several drafts the policy has been submitted through the university committee submission process and has been accepted by the University Court a year after its conception. It will now begin to become integrated into university procedure. Support and guidance documents are in the process of being written and will be made available very soon.
The Mobile Content Mandate – Karen McGrane
This webinar focused on the power of disruptive technologies to influence and change the accepted order. Mobile technology is sending disruptive ripples far and wide and Karen urges the web community to sit up and take notice. Mobile versions of websites should not be the exception but the norm. This was a primary reason for the development of EdWeb which enables access across multiple platforms without compromising the users’ experience.
Our next Web Publisher’s Community Session will be held on Wednesday 29 July.