15 March 2018

Moving on to the next phase of the project

The first phase of the University Website Project is complete and we’re now working out next steps in order to put the first pages of the new website live later in the year.

The initial focus of the project was developing a proof-of-concept prototype site to show how key elements of a new University website and content management system (CMS) might work.

This alpha website gave us a place to:

  • Agree the content we should focus on so that the website works more effectively for student recruitment
  • Try different approaches to navigation and course search
  • Explore how we can best structure information on the website
  • Experiment with some basic elements of visual design
  • Ensure any decisions we make are informed by user testing, research and data
  • Get instant feedback from people interested in the project
  • Try Drupal as a possible new CMS

Work has now been paused on the prototype website. It in no way complete and is expected to change significantly before anything is put live. However, it was considered a success and we have been given the green light to move on to the next phase of the project.

Phase two

Over the coming weeks we'll be prioritising some key areas of work which will allow us to move the project on and deliver the first external elements of the website in the summer. As part of this we'll look at:

  • Clearing content - the user journeys and content for clearing
  • Pattern library - this forms the building blocks for the visual elements that will make up the design of pages
  • Other student recruitment content - work with owners to audit the existing central student recruitment-focused pages and establish out what content can move over, where the gaps are and what can be removed
  • Structure - organising information on new website to help people find what they need quickly
  • CMS - further customise and configure Drupal as our new CMS

In support of the above, we'll continue our rolling programme of user testing and research to help us make the right decisions.

Look out for future posts where we’ll look at the these areas of work in more detail.

Posted by Richard Brierton, Internet Services Manager, Corporate Information and Computing Services

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