A 2017 roundup

2017 has been a busy year for the digital communications team.

In team news, we said goodbye to Felicity, who was our content and social media editor, and to Aaron, our web developer. We have also welcomed John – our new social media and web editor to the team, and are looking forward to welcoming a replacement for Aaron to St Andrews early next year. We’ve also been fortunate to have an intern since this summer: Nick, who is a third year student, has been a great asset to the team.

The external website programme has been progressing steadily. At the beginning of 2017, we were focusing on creating the first set of undergraduate course pages in the digital prospectus: the vast majority of the webpages for 2017-entry launched in March, with the 2018-entry pages going live in August. We’re pleased to say that every one of our single Honours UG programmes and all of our PGT programmes are now hosted in the digital prospectus.

In April, we launched the first full version of our digital pattern library (DPL). This is the set of building blocks we use to create new websites and web applications, and something that makes new projects far easier to take on. More information about the DPL can be found on the digital communications team blog.

We also launched the digital visa – our training programme for any member of staff who wants to improve their digital skills and become an advocate for digital best practise across the institution.

In June, we celebrated launching the digital prospectus in T4v8. Prior to this point, all of the digital prospectus pages were in the previous version of our content management system – T4v7 – and to future-proof the new pages, they needed to be migrated. This project also involved moving the academic information for prospective students into Subjects, giving a far better user experience.
We also worked with Development to build and launch their new website for alumni and donors in the new style.

Since September, the team have been working on two concurrent projects to provide a series of new website hubs for those interested in studying abroad or collaborative programmes, and to migrate the old Study at St Andrews pages into T4v8.

Preview of the St Andrews inbound hub for study abroad students

This week marks the launch of both of these two projects: the new website hubs for Collaborations and Study Abroad went live on Thursday 19 December, and the new Study section launched 5 days later. These two projects take us into the final five projects in the external website programme, which means that we are on target to complete the programme by the end of August 2018.

Outside of project work, we’ve also completed some exciting business-as-usual campaigns this year. From two hugely successful graduation weeks (with all graduation addresses available online) to some exciting long-form stories (including one about effective altruism), we’ve tried lots of new things. We’ve also attended a number of events and conferences, including IWMW17 where Carley gave a plenary talk titled ‘High Sights, High Standards‘, and we hosted visits from the University of Dundee and the University of Highlands and Islands.

2017 has been a busy but rewarding year for all of us in digital communications – we’re looking forward to an equally fruitful 2018!

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