Web Publishers’ Community – March update

This month’s WPC session focused on Google Analytics events, the beginnings of a User Experience service at the University, the Edinburgh Global Experience Language (EdGEL) and improvements to the PURE widget interface.

Web Publishers’ Community March 2017 presentation slides

Google Analytics events – Duncan MacGruer

Duncan started the session off by teaching us how you can use Event tracking in Google Analytics to gain insight into your target audiences’ behaviour on your pages.

With Google Analytics Events, you can measure where people are clicking on hyperlinked email address in your site; how many download of files (e.g. PDFs and word docs) there have been; and what external links users are clicking on from your pages.

Duncan’s presentation provides some helpful screenshots of how you can find this information through Google Analytics, so if you’re looking to have a go at this, use the slides as reference.

User Experience: the beginnings of new services, resources and processes – Neil Allison

Neil Allison provided an overview of the new UX services at the University that are part of the Digital Transformation initiative.

This has included setting up a UX team and providing UX training for project & service staff. We’re also doing work as part of student digital experience standards, measuring how a project or service is set up and run, not just the digital ‘end product’.

With UX services, the benefits go beyond users, including:

  • Increasing customer satisfaction by avoiding building products users don’t want
  • Reducing user support overheads because products are easier to use and optimised for self-service
  • Reducing development costs as we get more right the first time through better communication

Read our blog posts on our work for the Digital Transformation Initiative

EdGEL update – Karl Smith

Karl joined the team earlier this year as Digital Design Strategist. His presentation focused on the work he is doing to transform the Edinburgh Global Experience Language, EdGEL, into a managed service that can grow to facilitate consistent design and experience across the whole of our digital estate.

EdGEL creates a standard across the University for all digital platforms. It arose out of the transition into EdWeb, but EdGEL isn’t just stickily for the corporate CMS.

EdGEL provides a framework with both a process and the building blocks of digital experiences. When used together, they create a unified experience for end users.

The next iteration of EdGEL will include an interaction style guide, certified digital assets, process checklists and self-service resources and links.

EdGEL website

Improved PURE interface – Callum Kerr

Callum is currently making some updates to the PURE widget interface and is looking for feedback from the community.

The primary changes in the widget will be the inclusion of Research Activities, to mirror updates that will be made to the profile content type that will pull this information in from PURE. Callum is debating whether the widget should have a stacked or tabbed interface, depending on the number of publications/activities pulled through.

See Callum’s slides for example images, and get in touch if you currently use the PURE widget on your webpages or would like to make use of it in future.

Webinar: Every Business Is a Software Business – Jeff Gothelf and Joshua Seiden

We finished the session watching a webinar from Jeff Gothelf and Joshua Seiden, two proponents of Lean methodologies. Their new book, “Sense and Respond”, details why software is a part of everything in business, and how software is changing the way that businesses run.

Jeff and Joshua provided a few fascinating examples of how traditional businesses have had to transform for the digital age.

This includes the farming industry adapting to millennial farmers who use the internet to learn about new farming techniques. Whereas you once may have interacted with farming companies by calling or visiting offices in person, businesses now rely on technology to meet the needs of this new age of customers. Jeff and Joshua mentioned the bovine breeding company Select Sires, whose website includes a search engine where farmers can choose their products by selecting the type of traits they would like to see in their next herd of cattle.

The authors stressed that software can’t be sprinkled on a business; it needs to be deeply integrated in operations. They use the term sense and respond (the title of their new book) to communicate the idea that businesses need to build a two-way conversation with the market that is empowered by technology. With technology at the core of your business, you can learn a lot faster whether your products are meeting the needs of your customers.

Watch Every Business Is a Software Business on Facebook (no login needed)

April WPC

Join us at our next Web Publishers’ Community on Wednesday, 26 April.

Web Publishers’ Community wiki

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