Over the last six months, the content team have been working hard to create centralised web pages which advertise each of the postgraduate taught courses on offer at St Andrews for a 2016 entry. With 108 PGT courses to create content for, and almost as many course coordinators to liaise with in order to get the pages live, it’s been a big project. However, the digital communications team are now pleased to say that (almost…) all of the new style pages are now live! You should be able to see the new pages via this page about all of the St Andrews taught postgraduate courses.
We proposed to DCPB (the board which governs us) that the PGT pages be one of our first phases back at the start of last summer, in part because we knew that there was a smaller number of them (compared to our undergraduate courses) but mostly because University strategy is to grow our PGT numbers. The decision to make these pages part of Study rather than to revamp them on School websites came about because of our data. We knew that Study at St Andrews as a whole gets more traffic than anyone School site (and often more traffic than all School sites added together), and wanted to direct that traffic to consistent, relevant information. One of the problems with the current School sites is that each have bespoke designs and templates, which makes it difficult to build consistency between them. In order to get the pages created as quickly and as simply as possible, we decided to use designs we already had in a central place.
Looking at the data thus far, it seems that this move has payed off. Traffic to the new style pages is at a good level (a full report will be produced shortly) and we are now able to see which courses external users are looking at most. This also allows us to look at how we can iterate on these pages – something we struggled to do when this information sat on School sites.
We’re really grateful to everyone we’ve worked with during this process – from Lesley and Kitty in Publications, to computing officers, course coordinators, administrators and even the students who have helped us with usability testing. We’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of you.
So what next? The content team are currently working on draft PGT pages for 2017 entry, as the application cycle for 2017 really isn’t that far off! We’re working on adding additional functionality for some courses – namely pages which describe ‘what this course is like’. And we’re thinking forward to the introduction of T4v8, which, with programmable layouts and other features, should make it easier for us to iterate on our designs.
If anyone has any questions about the new PGT pages, please get in touch!
A final note. We say that almost all of the pages are live, because at the time of writing this post, we are still waiting on final amends and signoff from two Schools. This means that there are currently 11 pages which are not yet live, but should be in the next two weeks. There have been some struggles in getting to this new system, but a recent retrospective about how we work with colleagues in Schools in the future will hopefully alleviate these struggles in the next phase.