by Brian Kelly
by Neil Allison
How many web pages, or software features, or service elements are you responsible for that are not well used, or not fit for purpose, or just basically redundant? How much does it cost you to maintain? How much does it interfere with your end users’ experience? How did they come to be there, or be like that, in the first place? How much time, cost and effort went into getting it there? Is it because nobody stopped to ask why? Maybe the boss said just do it. Sometimes what seems like a good idea at first turns out to be not so great but by the point you realise you’re too far down a particular road. In this talk I’ll introduce the key concepts of Lean UX, how it can help you better meet business and user needs, and nudge your colleagues to think about their requirements differently.
Getting the support and time to deliver major website changes can be a real challenge for institutional web teams. This session provides a case study of a three month site re-skin project carried out at the University of Greenwich. The objective was to visually overhaul the existing website and make it mobile-friendly, whilst also laying the technological and cultural foundations for a wider programme of change. The talk will look at the design approach taken, the technical and cultural challenges faced and argue that taking an incremental approach to site improvement can deliver real change for small teams at big institutions
by Jon Bird
Currently accounting for 26% of all websites, WordPress is a dominating force on the web. However, securing, managing, hosting and optimising WordPress can take a huge amount of time and resources. WP Engine is working with many universities to help make the shift from costly customised solutions to open source WordPress. In this session I’ll cover some of my favourite examples of WordPress and how universities such as the University of Northampton are fully embracing the WordPress movement.
Developing a new Content Management System is one thing. Doing it at the same time as migrating content from the old system makes it a rather more challenging undertaking. This workshop will focus on the human side of the project rather than the just the technical aspects of building the CMS.
There will be plenty of opportunity for questions but more importantly room for discussion with a set of dilemmas to ‘solve’, for example: Is the best approach to website migration to start at the bottom and finish with the top level homepage? Do you agree or disagree? How did you or how would you handle your migration? Bring your experience and opinions with you! In the spirit of democracy we’ll take a vote on these and build the perfect migration.
The workshop will cover how we approached this formidable task:
Do you struggle to balance getting projects completed, the really important work that ensures that digital assets are meeting user needs, while also maintaining the ‘business as usual’? You are not alone! For a number of years the University of St Andrews digital communications team has struggled to get the balance right. We are using two approaches to ensure we devote the right time to projects.
The first is to determine our ‘universe of work’ so we can quantify and protect the time we spend on project work. This involves quantifying how much time is spent in meetings, consultancy, project mechanics and other activities. From this we can create a time budget for individuals and the team that can then be used to determine how much project work can actually be achieved each week. Accurate forecasting of team capacity can help with prediction of when projects will be completed.
The second approach is use a simple method to analyse the types of support calls we deal with and then use this to determine the root cause of those requests. Through this analysis we can start to identify and plan for ways to reduce the number of requests, freeing up time to focus on completing projects. We categorise the calls we receive via our call management system, email and phone calls into whether it is ‘advice’, ‘fix’ or ‘request’. We quantify the time spent on each category and then analyse the complexity of the requests to see if we could reduce the calls via approaches such as improved training of our users, or making the website simpler to use.
This workshop will provide a set of practical tools to determine what is a project, what is business as usual, how to balance support and maintenance while providing space for project work.
by ian st john
For those of you who have never heard of The University of St Mark & St John, it is described on Wikipedia as being “based in the coastal city of Plymouth, England. The university’s history dates back to the foundation by the National Society (now National Society for Promoting Religious Education) of the constituent London colleges of St John’s College in Battersea, London (1840) and St Mark’s College in Chelsea, London (1841). The two colleges were among the first to open access to degree level study outside the established universities. The colleges merged in 1923, establishing a single institution in Chelsea which developed a wider reputation for academic excellence and commitment to teaching. The College of St Mark & St John then moved to Plymouth in 1973 when the Chelsea site became too small, and its educational activities have continued to evolve in response to local, regional, national and international needs.”
For the past ten years, Ian St John has been the one-person University web team of the University of St Mark & St John. Ian attended his first IWMW only 2 weeks after starting at the University in 2006 (IWMW 2006: Quality Matters held at the University of Bath) – providing him with the an invaluable first networking opportunity and exposure to others in the sector. Five marketing managers and four website re-designs later, Ian would like to share his experiences (good and bad) of the ten years and offer advise gained from his time in HEI web management.
This workshop would be of particular interest with those who manage web services for small institutions which may have small web teams (including web teams with only one team member) – looking at how we can collaborate to improve our day to day lives.
With support from academics at Leeds University Business School, Revolution Viewing has conducted research which has established how influential different types of rich media (videos, 360s, virtual tours / virtual open days) are when used at key points in the student recruitment cycle, from enquirer to applicant to enrolled student.
We delivered focus groups with prospective students (Years 12 and 13) and current international undergraduate and postgraduate students to provide representation across a range of groups. The main aim of the research is to help universities to maximise the generation, usage and impact of your rich media content. Given our 12 years of experience of working with HE and over 70 universities, we wanted to provide research that would be of use to the sector and which we would be delighted to share.
Revolution Viewing is an innovative digital agency specialising in rich media production. We create desire with prospective students to help them select their perfect university.
by Gordon Grace
In this workshop session we will take a look at the common scenarios, pitfalls and strategies for applying natural language techniques to both your content and your users’ journeys. Participants will be encouraged to:
by Miao He
Effectively engaging with international users means innovation in storytelling, layering the users’ experience with high quality writing and timely syndicating content on multiple digital channels.
In this workshop session participants will learn how to:
by Rob van Tol
Managing change within HEIs starts with a change in mind-set. Using a variety of client case studies, we will demonstrate how we have used digital to help them successfully manage change, and the results this has delivered.
At the University of Bath, the digital products and services we work on aren’t one-off projects – they’re live and need constant improvement and maintenance.
To meet this challenge we use an Agile approach to content design and development.
12 months into our programme of work to build a new website, I’ll talk you through our successes, share the challenges we’ve faced and explain how we overcame them.
In the ten years since the web was first managed at the University of St Andrews we have come full circle at least twice, from a position with no strategic leadership, where work was more reactive rather than proactive, and where supporting legacy systems drew our energy away from pushing significant digital change within the institution. Drawing on past experience we have redesigned how we work so that we now have a prioritised portfolio of work, linked to University strategy; we have a programme of education to better equip the workforce; a dedicated support team; and we are beginning to see digital embedded within the heart of the institution.
At the heart of the redesign was the creation of the digital communications portfolio board (DCPB) which is chaired by the Quaestor and Factor (the CEO) and attended by two members of the Principal’s Office, two Unit directors, the assistant registrar, and representatives of the digital communications team. All project ideas are now evaluated against the University strategy and considered by the portfolio board. Having been designed around a P3O (Portfolio, Programme and Project Office) model this ensures that the right things are being done, and integrated with wider corporate communications.
To ensure then that the right things are being done the right way, the digital communications team have all been trained in DSDM agile project management to practitioner level, and projects are run according to that methodology with the appropriate level of rigour required while remaining open to respond to change. They are now running a large programme of projects to redesign the web experience for external audiences, which is having long-reaching consequences for other key processes within the University. Digital transformation is happening.
If you could build your digital team from scratch, how would you do it? In this session, Duncan Stephen draws on his experience of building new digital teams, having found himself doing so in two different situations at different institutions – the University of St Andrews and SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College). Duncan considers the challenges and opportunities presented by building a new team and examines the contrasts between his experiences at the two institutions.
Prototyping digital services. It’s an approach that many of us would like to adopt. So why in practice is it often so difficult to get any further than a few wireframes and page mockups? With reference to a case study of the University of Hull’s experiences, we will explore some of the questions that inevitably arise when you attempt to prototype complex websites that need to support many different user journeys. We will address the challenges of selling prototyping to senior management and some of the strategies for overcoming those challenges. We will explore approaches to assembling a team, setting up a working environment and organising a project. The Government Digital Service may have established some great working practices, but in the real world of under-resourced, overloaded university web/digital teams such practices are frequently impossible to implement “by the GDS book”. We will explore the art of the possible and look at how you can deliver valuable outcomes with limited time and resources. Finally, we will review how, by using prototyping, the University of Hull has progressed in terms of digital team knowledge, user testing and stakeholder engagement.
by Richard West
Our team was asked to turn our confusing, disconnected array of websites into something rational, navigable and usable. After a review of what we had, we began bringing in some sites, and creating the tools to restructuring or redesigning others. The work is ongoing there are now 43 fewer sites, and our ux pattern library is out in the wild and starting to be used. This talk shares the approaches we’ve taken, the pitfalls, surprises, failures and successes.
The majority of websites are using Google Analytics for tracking and reporting (W3Techs report 82.9% of tracked sites are using Google Analytics). Since launching Google Analytics in November 2005 the Internet has radically changed moving away from static content to fully interactive web applications. Google have addressed this with the integration of event tracking and other collection techniques, including deployment within mobile apps. As Google Analytics continues to evolve there are a number of features and use cases you might not be aware of. This presentation is designed to highlight some of the emerging Google Analytics hacks which will hopefully inspire you to look at your analytics problems and opportunities in new ways. For example, we look at how Google Analytics can be used as part of the Internet of Things, using low cost computing like Raspberry Pis for recording and analysing everything from sensor data to physical switches. We also look at bridging offline and asynchronous tracking sending measurement data in batches when connectivity is reestablished as well as pushing data from third party APIs into Google Analytics using free tools.
by Neil Allison
When you’ve got a wide range of options to improve a system or a website (or indeed a lot of voices calling for a range of features), you need a way to easily and collaboratively identify where to spend your time and effort. What will bring most benefit to most users? What would be the best ROI for your efforts?
Neil Allison will run through two techniques used by the University of Edinburgh Website Programme to great effect over a number of years:
1.Top task / top issue prioritisation
2.Collaborative usability testing
The session will run through how to set up and execute these research methods and how to quickly analyse the results.
It will include a practical activity in which the group will work together to log and prioritise usability issues for a familiar website.
Attendees will leave with practical experience of two very quick and easy prioritisation techniques, and all the resources they need to try them out for themselves.
Universities face a growing challenge – the ability to scale content creation, delivery, and management, in a world with ever-increasing ways to consume content.
In this hands-on masterclass for content managers, editors, designers and developers, we’ll teach you how to future-proof your content through structure and semantic markup.
Made use of a good crisis? Increased clickthrough? Survived a reduced budget? Demonstrated ROI? Made a business case? Delighted a user? Improved a pain point?
Based on a successful format seen at Scottish Web Folk, JBoye and elsewhere we will hear from at least 10 organisations about a range of successes and challenges. Each organisation signing up to this session is asked to prepare up to 10 minutes of insight into a recent success or challenge they have faced. We will also be setting aside 5 minutes for questions/further exploration per topic. You can deliver this insight in whatever style suits you best – talk to the group, prepare slides, use props, bring Haribo; the choice is yours. A great, informal chance to discuss issues which matter to you and your organisation with peers; build your network and take back actionable insights to your desk.
To help the session run smoothly, it would be great if you could drop Duncan Ireland, the session facilitator an email (email@example.com) with a sentence or two explaining what you will cover and whether or not you have any particular requirements.
In the world of social media a great deal changes constantly and it can be difficult to know where to start.
This masterclass is for managers and their teams and it will teach you:
The workshop is designed to help users get more out of their Google Analytics (GA) setup and reporting. The session will be an opportunity to workout where you are at with you Google Analytics setup and usage. As part of this there will be an opportunity for:
As part of the session we'll also be trying to connect remotely to some Google Analytics experts for a fireside chat.
by Rob van Tol
You want to progress digital transformation because you know it is the right thing to do, the way of the future. But your University is too busy to transform? Has bigger fish to fry? Or are you waiting to see what everyone else is doing?
It can be a tricky situation for you: wanting to be heard, feeling you should be championing it, feeling stymied. This master class will give you a six-step approach to breakdown the problem, and make a plan to push as much digital transformation through the University as it is able to absorb.
1. Analysis: Identify the degree to which your University is ignoring the need for change, or believe that they have bigger fish to fry.
2. Allies: Make friends and influence people – it’s an organisation-wide change.
3. Proof: Triangulate the evidence: outside customers + inside stakeholders + competitor pressure.
4. Plan: Match ambition to budget, resources and priorities.
5. Show: What you can do with your existing resources to demonstrate how digital transformation could work.
6. Sway: Develop an approach to reaching a consensus across the University to tackle digital transformation.
Managing digital presence in higher education is an effort to operate effectively in a steady state of controlled chaos. Primary contributing factors to this lack of control are:
In this session Marianne Kay will outline a digital governance model that suits the needs of a Higher Ed institution. Marianne will talk about establishing and enforcing processes and policies that bring back a degree of control, aid operational efficiency, and keep web managers sane.
Marianne will cover:
This session is based on findings from the extensive primary research conducted by Digital Clarity Group in late 2015 – early 2016, called Digital Transformation in Higher Education: How Content Management Technologies and Practices Are Evolving in the Era of Experience Management. The research comprised inputs from leaders and content practitioners at higher educational institutions in the UK and in the US, technology vendors serving higher education customers and service providers that are active in the higher education vertical.
This master class, an abridged version of Zengenti’s one-day course, will take you through:
The session facilitators are Zach Beauvais, Head of Content & Communities and Ryan Bromley, Digital Marketing Executive, both at Zengenti.
If it’s not personalised, it’s not engaging. The idea of making the website experience for your target audience both personalised and targeted isn’t a new one. It is however one that has eluded most institutions. This is often down to time, skill or technology. This presentation will outline the opportunities available to higher education institutions that could help you elevate your visitors’ experience (and increase conversion); delivering one that is both meaningful and relevant to them.
Mandy Phillips and Mark Simpson will describe how Liverpool John Moores University is working with external agencies in the redevelopment of its online service.
In March 2015 the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) published guidance to help universities to understand and apply consumer protection laws in dealing with undergraduate students. The advice looked at three areas: Information provision; terms and conditions and complaint handling processes and practices. With regard to information the CMA state that HE providers need to supply the right information at the right time. It should be accurate, up-to-date, compliment KIS data sets and is a legal requirement. Recent research commissioned by the QAA to look at guidance produced to support information delivery found that Universities that offer potential students a wide range of comprehensive information achieve a higher satisfaction score in the National Student Survey (NSS). As we move further down the road of ‘students as consumers’ and ‘HE providers as businesses’ having the right information on your university website is not only a legal necessity but is also of paramount importance in recruitment and insurance of student satisfaction. So why are so many universities still getting it wrong?
by Matt Jukes
The Office for National Statistics website was called “the world’s worst website” in a best-selling book, a “national embarrassment” in the Financial Times and was the subject of a Parliamentary hearing in to why it was bad. The talk will cover how taking a militantly user-centric approach allowed us to design, build and launch a new website that users love rather than one that “makes me want to cry“.
21st–23rd June 2016