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The digital pattern library is platform agnostic

At the University of St Andrews we have a digital framework called the digital pattern library (DPL), which is used to make the University digital presence consistent across the website. We primarily build in TerminalFour Site Manager but it’s not the only platform we build websites for and we aren’t the only ones making digital products…

25 April 2016Design

Why is consistency important in web design?

Consistency is a golden-rule in design. To provide a quality experience to your users it is essential that you are consistent in both design and content of your websites. Consistency is the biggest factor that separates a negative experience from a positive one. Consistency 1. Logical coherence and accordance. 2. A harmonious uniformity or agreement…

7 April 2016Design

User experience feedback

Here at the Digital Communications team we believe in taking a user-centred approach to our work, and we’ve written a lot about this. We endeavour to put the user at the centre of our decision making process with a focus always on what people need, not what the organisation needs. Collecting user experience feedback An…

21 November 2015Team

Mobile first and responsive design

The core design mission of the new St Andrews website is to cater for mobile devices, as these are rapidly becoming the dominant medium for web. While most organisations still commission a website to look good on their computer first and work on mobile second, we have made the switch to a responsive web design…

3 June 2015Design Digital transformation

Ethical social research online

The trust engineers I enjoyed this recent episode of Radiolab, which looked how the internet has given social scientists an unprecedented ability to conduct social experiments, which then helps us improve our designs, in an ethical manner… or does it? I include it here because a lot of the concepts described in this podcast are…

8 April 2015Usability

Why is the user important?

As we may have mentioned a few times already, the digital communications team is committed to a user centred approach to our work: whether that be research, design, content or build. We have placed users at the heart of the decisions we make, which is, in some areas, a radical departure from the way that…

25 March 2015Digital transformation

Hamburger menus perform poorly

Why we banished the hamburger menu from our iPhone app The hamburger menu is one of the oldest icons in the history of graphical user interfaces. It was included in the Xerox Star, one of the first ever graphical user interfaces. It has recently seen a renaissance on websites and apps due to the space…

18 February 2015Design

The importance of typography

How we read Good typography is an underrated element of the user experience. Good typography makes content easier to read, which is why we have rules about how the text is laid out on the page. It’s up to us to keep the reading experience unencumbered. At the core of typography is our audience, our…

18 September 2014Design

Why simplicity improves the user experience for all

The myth of the sophisticated user Our goal as designers is to make things as easy as possible for the user. When we set out to simplify content and convert jargon terms into plain English, we are sometimes told that we should not need to do so because St Andrews students are just so clever…

9 September 2014Usability

Don’t break the user experience

Breaking web design conventions = breaking the user experience The esteemed Nielsen Norman Group has turned its attention towards the controversial redesign of the Bucknell University website. The redesign is high in visual impact, but is heavy on gimmicks. It is found to have poor usability due to its confusing user interface and navigation. A…

21 August 2014Usability