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The effect of bad adverts online

Online ads: log in, tune out, turn off Economists have been researching how successful online banner advertising is. It’s bad news for commercial website owners. The study paid subjects to complete tasks online, with adverts being displayed between each task. The researchers analysed the drop-out rate of the experiment to come up with an effective…

3 June 2015Articles and resources

Students’ awareness of branding

Overseas PhD students rely on rankings to select a university This article about how PhD students select universities contains some interesting findings about the use of websites and the perception of the brand. The report, aimed primarily at university communications and marketing staff, notes that the websites are “much easier to influence by good communications…

5 December 2014Articles and resources

The first job of a website is to be useful

The future of marketing is to be useful Gerry McGovern provides a reminder that the first job of a website is to be useful. I recently dealt with an organization that had employed an award-winning ad agency to help them become more ‘innovative’ and ‘interactive’. Millions upon millions were spent turning the website into an…

4 December 2014Articles and resources

Digital archiving – what’s left after 10 years

What is still on the web after 10 years of archiving? Digital preservation is not typically at the forefront of most people’s minds today. But it is likely to become a bigger issue as more people begin to realise we have been doing the modern-day equivalent of wiping tapes of classic television programmes. The British…

28 October 2014Articles and resources

University marketing mistakes

Five toe-curling blunders from university marketing teams It can be easy to get things wrong in university marketing schemes. From dodgy acronyms to risqué hashtags, this article looks at five real-life examples of university marketing gone wrong.

27 October 2014Articles and resources

Is a website worth £60m?

B&Q’s new £60m responsive website reviewed Unfortunately, getting digital right is not cheap or easy. B&Q have just spent £60m on their new website, along with an upgrade of backend systems. As this article from Econsultancy notes, some aspects of the design are good. But some vital aspects, such as search and photography, are notably…

24 October 2014Articles and resources

Trends in search for universities

Google reveals most searched-for universities It is important for us to keep an eye on trends across the sector. The digital era is a disruptive one that has changed and even threatened some industries forever: music, journalism, photography. Higher education is not necessarily immune. Data from Google shows that interest in campus-based universities is declining,…

23 October 2014Articles and resources

Taming an intranet

How to stop your WordPress intranet becoming an unmanageable mess Our web developer Sam Parsons brought our attention to this article about intranets. Although the article is primarily aimed at WordPress developers, there are lots of useful nuggets that are of wider interest. This is also pertinent as we begin to investigate the creation of…

27 August 2014Articles and resources

Putting user needs ahead of short-term business goals

Customer-centric and easy-to-use is the new business model (The Alibaba story) In the wake of Alibaba going public, Gerry McGovern has assessed the company’s success. Putting the customer’s needs ahead of the business’s superficial short-term needs pays dividends in the long run. So, what has helped make Alibaba so successful? According to founder Jack Ma,…

31 July 2014Articles and resources

Why we shouldn’t just listen to the user

Why audiences hate hard news – and love pretending otherwise Here is a lesson from the Atlantic as to why you cannot simply ask users what they want from a website. People lie about – or do not truly know – what they want. They say they want vegetables, but they actually eat sweets. The…

30 July 2014Articles and resources