Web Editors’ Board 9th January 2013
Website project • Where are we now? • User-testing, analytics and competitor reviews • Draft information architecture • Documenting of current CMS • Web project manager role
Research highlights… • Mobile traffic on the rise (doubled in 12 months) • 6th most popular page on the site is the courses database • 66% of external traffic comes from Google and other search engines • Facebook is the biggest referral source • After English, most external visits come from Chinese speakers • Durham site has too few signs of academic and cultural life • Navigation is inconsistent across the site = big problems • University websites are often not examples of good practice! • Brand is one of the most difficult things to convey on a HE website • Stories/testimonials are extremely powerful
Website project • What happens next? • Tender specification drafted for new web content management system • New information architecture implemented • Rewriting of top-level content • Design work commences
CMS Procurement: Your help needed! • As users and editors of the current CMS, what functionality/features would you like to see specified in a new CMS?
Calendar – drawing together all events around the University • Editors able to input SEO elements on a page • Interactivity – customisation of web pages based on user need • Multiple templates/design options • Improved facilities for adding/scaling images (esp large images) • Ability to change size of image through the editor • Better training / ease of use for editors (and egs of best practice) • Support for producing AV content (in house resource and budget) • Flash player • Blogging system • Easy way of updating from any location • Multiple browsers on PCs for checking web page appearance (also ability to check content on mobile devices) • Easy ways of unpublishing pages • Ease of previewing pages prior to publishing • Ease of previewing and managing navigation • Ability to add randomised content on a page (i.e. for student testimonials, etc)
‘Drag and drop’ functionality to help with editing pages/sidebars and moving content • Easier approval process and ability to see what has been changed on a page • Better social media integration (less clunky) • Resource and space on website for content provided at a dept level, and support for external areas such as ITunesU • Alert system to let page editor know about system changes affecting a page • Capacity to identify designer, owner, content editor etc for a page • Better way of using tabs within a page (like courses database) • Customisation of ‘comments and questions’ forms • Streamlining, simplifying and making more user friendly mysql databases • Scaling of information on online forms (more control over cell sizes, etc) • Ability for editors to use HTML to maximise design capacity • Audio player embedded into site (suite of players which scale to page layout etc) • Search feature to distinguish between internal and external content • I would really like to see an interactive Events display – i.e. if the College was holding a seminar we could say there was so many places and people could book in, or it would show if all the spaces were full/how many remaining. • I guess it kind of falls under the same thing, but maybe two way communication with databases/spread sheets, I produce the College Almanac, I then put it on line by creating separate events for everything but it would be ideal if it could updated from my spread sheet!
Editing web pages: Think before you type! • Data protection • Advertising Standards Authority • QAA institutional review
Editing web pages:Key principles • Link to / use centrally maintained content wherever possible (especially for course information) • Distinguish internal from external content • Substantiate claims • Use standard academic department and college website structures
Editing web pages:Best practice • Less is almost always more • Audience needs come first • User journey – what do you want users to do after reading each web page? • ‘So what?’ Make it memorable and meaningful • Our stories make us really stand out • Consistent narratives