A prototype for the new University home page has been available since March this year. Finally it is time to make it live! From Monday, the prototype home page will become the home page for the whole University website. The new design is mobile friendly, easier for people who don’t know the University to use and faster to navigate. It is also focused specifically at external audiences, providing a seamless mobile experience from the home page to Study at St Andrews, where the majority of our external visitors go to find out about becoming a student at St Andrews.
The user is important
The digital communications team has always aimed to put the user at the heart of all of our design, content and development decisions. The new site has reorganised the original ‘about’ and ‘visiting’ sections to make the content more focused on user needs. You will now see new sections called ‘community facilities’ and ‘business services’ explicitly aimed at external audiences – users who are not current staff or students of the University. We hope that by adding these sections, we can promote the services and facilities of the University as well as answer some of the frequently asked questions for departments such as the Library, the Sports Centre and The Byre.
The reorganisation is the result of analysing user needs, usability testing and gathering feedback, as well as work we undertook with consultant Paul Boag. After the site goes live we will continue to analyse data such as the number of page views and time spent on the site to determine how we can make further enhancements.
Since launching the prototype in March, we have received over 80 pieces of feedback from users. If you took the time to leave your comments in our feedback form, thank you. Every piece of feedback was carefully considered during our testing phase. One big change we made thanks to user feedback was to change the header of the site. Almost half of the feedback left was about the ‘icons’ which could be used to toggle to the current staff and students sections; it was found to be difficult to use, and so we changed it. Usability testing has shown that our new design makes it easy for current staff and students to navigate to their parts of the website. If you left feedback on the prototype and don’t see things have changed, please be aware that we are now working on a new version of the website where we can more easily address the issues raised.
Spot an issue?
If you’re using the new home page or about section and come across a broken link, typo or functional problem, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be part of the journey
As we continue to develop the University website we will be actively seeking feedback from our key stakeholders. We will also be blogging regularly about what we are working on.
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