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Maria is the digital data analyst and content editor for the digital communications team. From Newcastle originally, Maria has lived in Dundee for the last five years while completing her degree in English and working in marketing for small, start-up businesses. Maria is usually found analysing Google Analytics and the results of usability testing.

Clicks don’t really matter

Over the last few months I’ve received several requests to track the number of clicks it takes a user to complete a task to determine the “improved” usability of a website.

18 September 2019Usability

How to make PDFs accessible

PDF files published on the University of St Andrews website must meet accessibility standards. This is so the website, and all the content within it can be used by as many people as possible. Considering that there are hundreds of PDF files on the University website, it’s imperative that they’re also accessible. This post is…

15 July 2019Accessibility

Findings from Funnelback search usability testing

Last November I wrote about the initial findings from the control usability test that was conducted on Google Search Appliance (GSA), the University’s search system at the time. The main outcomes from that test were that University search results were inaccurate, there was a distrust of keymatch boxes and there was little interaction with search…

27 June 2019Usability

All about newsletters

On Wednesday 29 May, the digital communications team hosted the May Digital Forum, which was one of our most popular meetings to date! The subject of this forum was ‘all about newsletters’ and was an opportunity to discuss newsletter best practice, the digital communications newsletter and the use of Sway as a newsletter alternative. There…

10 June 2019Digital Forum

New School websites usability findings

Two weeks ago I conducted usability testing on the design for the new School websites on behalf of the Business Transformation Board who are running the Academic School Websites project. This project seeks to update and redesign the existing School websites using the digital pattern library (DPL). This post provides a summary of the test and…

23 May 2019Usability

Student portal design sprint findings

As part of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) project, the digital communications team hosted a design sprint with students to help redesign certain elements of the student portal. Currently, students access teaching and learning information across a variety of platforms including MySaint, ‘MMS’ (Module Management System) and Moodle. The TEL project seeks to unify the…

25 March 2019Design

Digital learning and teaching design sprints

The digital communications team is running two design sprints to help us improve the ‘My Courses’ portal for current students and the digital teaching environment for members of academic staff. During these design sprints, we will provide some baseline data about how the systems are currently performing and what the end-user requirements are. Then, participants…

11 March 2019Design

The digital retrospective summary

On Wednesday 27 February the digital communications team hosted the first Digital Forum. The aim of the session was to gain an understanding about how colleagues experience digital services and technology on a daily basis throughout the University. This post covers what happened at the forum, and some initial findings from the retrospective.

7 March 2019Digital Forum

Making the University website accessible

New regulations which affect the University of St Andrews came into force on the 23 September 2018. These regulations state that a public sector body website must meet certain accessibility standards and publish an accessibility statement before the 23 September 2020. This post introduces the accessibility standards that need to be met, provides some basic…

13 February 2019Accessibility

The meeting formerly known as ‘DAB’

The Digital Advisory Board (DAB) has been replaced with the Digital Forum. The Digital Forum will take place on the last Wednesday afternoon of each month. All staff are welcome to attend. The format of the Digital Forum will be presentations, discussions and workshops. The Digital Forum will continue to provide updates on digital services…

4 February 2019Articles and resources Team