The responsibilities of the digital communications team

The responsibilities of the digital communications team have changed a lot in the last two years; a result of the combination of the original digital communications team and the web team, the addition of new team members and the advent of the digital communications portfolio board (DCPB). As a result of this, it’s been tough for us to keep a mental note of all of the different digital assets and technologies that we’re responsible for, and we’ve found that some colleagues aren’t sure whether they should contact the digital communications team or another department in the University. In order to help with this, we’ve been writing out all of the responsibilities of the team, and who the responsible member of staff for each area is.

You can see a list of all of the things that the digital communications team are responsible for below. If you need guidance or have questions about any of our responsibilities, please contact the relevant person!


Development and design

Digital pattern library
The digital pattern library, including the developers DPL meeting
The digital pattern library is a developers’ resource to ensure a consistent look and feel for all digital products at the University of St Andrews. Find out more in our service manual.
Aaron Lott:

Browser support
Users may be accessing the University website through various browsers, such as Chrome, Edge or Safari.
Aaron Lott:

Digital design, including design principles
Website design requires a decision-making framework – these are often called design principles. Find out more in the service manual.
Lewis Wake:

Version control
GitHub, Subversion (SVN) and BitBucket are web-based repositories that offer us version control and source code management, as well as access control, bug tracking, feature requests and task management.
Gareth Saunders:

The events system
The University publicises events run by colleagues across the University in the events calendar.
Steve Evans:

Google Search Appliance
Google Search Appliance is what powers the search engine on the University website.
Steve Evans:

There are a number of maps with University locations added used on the University website.
Steve Evans:

The personal development management system is used to organise and book training courses for the University.
Steve Evans:

New projects and ideas

‘Submit an idea’
If you have an idea for a new project which you’d like the digital communications team to consider, the process starts by submitting an idea.
Gareth Saunders:

DCPB admin, including agenda, papers, minutes etc
DCPB is the digital communications portfolio board. It meets every six weeks to discuss project progress and to prioritise new projects.
Gareth Saunders:

Creating user personas and user journeys
User personas are characters which we create in order to better understand their needs. User journeys show the journey each persona goes on to meet their needs.
Maria Drummond:

Website audits
Before starting a new project, the digital communication team audits the existing digital assets to understand the current web structures.
Maria Drummond:

Creating an information architecture
The digital communications team creates the architecture of a new website before starting any design work.
Maria Drummond:

The Digital Advisory Board (DAB)

The DAB is the monthly meeting for colleagues from across the University who have questions or concerns about any aspect of digital and web assets.
Carley Hollis:

Chairing the DAB
The chair of the DAB organises the meeting time and location, and keeps to the agenda on the day.
Carley Hollis:

Minutes and papers
The creation and sending of the papers and minutes of the DAB meetings.
Jennifer Hamrick:

Digital newsletter
The DAB is supported by a monthly email newsletter which summarises the work of the digital communications team, and links through to relevant blog posts and articles.
Jennifer Hamrick:

Support and maintenance

Website support and maintenance
Small changes or amends that are required on the website are classed as support and maintenance.
Peter Woodbridge and Duncan Sanderson:

Editorial calendar
Every month the digital communications team reviews web content to make sure it is up to date and accurate. We liaise with content coordinators to make any necessary amendments.
Jennifer Hamrick:

SiteImprove is a tool we use to check the status of the University website – including broken links, spelling errors etc.
Duncan Sanderson:

T4 – our content management system
T4 is the content management system we use to host the University website.
Steve Evans:

The University has an official WordPress instillation.
Peter Woodbridge: 

Usability testing
We test the website and projects we are working on with actual users to receive feedback.
Maria Drummond:

Archiving websites
When we create a new website, we have a process to archive the old one.

Web standards

Accessibility standards
We have a duty to ensure that our website is accessible for all users.
Gareth Saunders:

Code and markup standards
We have standards for the code and markup we use.
Gareth Saunders:

Content management policy
We have a process for staff to request changes to existing parts of the website and add new parts of the website.
Carley Hollis:

House style
In order to meet our high content standards, we create and police a house style for digital assets.
Carley Hollis:

Digital corporate identity
We also have high design standards which we detail in our design principles.
Lewis Wake:

Media and media channels

Choice of digital images
We carefully choose the images that we use on the external facing website.
Lewis Wake:

OneLan is the TV screen system used across the University.
Lewis Wake:

Video standards
We want to ensure that our video content is branded and meets our design principles.
Lewis Wake:

We use SoundCloud to host audio files.
Peter Woodbridge: 

We use Vimeo to host internal video files.
Peter Woodbridge:

Digital content

The University homepage
We update the hero banner and news stories on the University homepage on a regular basis.
Digital communications team:

Graduation webpages
We update the graduation webpages with information for graduating students and their guests.
Carley Hollis:

Orientation webpages
We update the orientation webpages with information for incoming students.
Carley Hollis:

Long form content stories
The content team create long form stories to promote news and research from across the University each month, such as this Light Box story.
Carley Hollis:

Social media
We oversee the social media policy and guidance for all official University accounts.
Felicity Wild:

Study at St Andrews
Study at St Andrews is the website for prospective students.
Carley Hollis, supporting Linda Bongorno and Duncan Vickers in Admissions, and Michelle Goodwin and Alice Carradice in Registry

The digital communications team blog
You’re on it right now!
Jennifer Hamrick:

External tools and software

This is the tool we use to create surveys and analyse results.
Felicity Wild:

This is the tool we use to create email newsletters and analyse the results of email campaigns.
Lewis Wake:

This is the tool we use to plan our sprints and project work.
Gareth Saunders:

Our private messaging tool.
Gareth Saunders:

Google Analytics
A tool to show the behaviour of the users who visit our website.
Maria Drummond:


Our current training sessions are:

  • Writing for the web
  • T4 contributor training
  • T4 moderator training

Forthcoming training includes:

  • Social media
  • Google Analytics
  • Digital pattern library
  • Digital communications at St Andrews

All training is the responsibility of Jennifer Hamrick.

If you have questions regarding who is responsible for a digital tool or asset, please feel free to email and we will try to point you in the right direction!

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