Study at St Andrews progress report: 20–25 February

Duncan Stephen
Tuesday 25 February 2014

It has been a while since our last progress report. It’s been full steam ahead as we work hard to complete the website by the 3 March deadline.

Content snagging list

I have spent a lot of the past week liaising with content owners across the University to make sure that all content is up to date and accurate.

Entrance requirements

We have been working closely with ELT to improve some of the wording of the entrance requirements pages. As I explained in a previous article about these pages, we will still have a lot of work to do in the next few months to improve the content and make sure that the various stakeholders are happy with the content.

Postgraduate taught programmes

The existing Admissions website has recently had a list of postgraduate taught programmes added to it. I have adapted this for the new website, and we will include a link to this page in lieu of links to the course search system in the sections to do with postgraduate taught programmes.

Undergraduate Prospectus

I have updated the Undergraduate Prospectus page to contain information for both the 2014 and 2015 prospectuses. We are not convinced about the layout at the time being. I tried a few different layouts, and this is the best we have come up with so far. We might want to look into how we will improve this in the long run.

Website maintenance in the long run

We have been putting together a draft document that outlines how we think the website should be maintained in the long run. While the original vision was that all content updates would have to go through the digital communications team, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this will be infeasible.

We are working out what sort of model might work in the long term, and we will begin discussing this more widely soon.

Design tweaks

Lewis has been working on refining the colours of the website. Following some of feedback we received, we have now expanded the colour coding to incorporate body links and accordions.

Postgraduate colour coding

We discussed a few options, including getting rid of colour coding entirely. I do feel that there is a risk that the colour coding may serve more as a distraction, and may even confuse users in some instances. We also have significant chunks of content that are aimed at both undergradautes and postgraduates.

On the other hand, on the existing Admissions we have a problem with people not being aware enough of whether they are viewing information for undergraduates or postgraduates. So it may be more helpful to clearly signpost to users which section they are in.

On balance, we think the new colour scheme looks great, so we are going for it. However, we will monitor feedback carefully.

We have also been refining some of the other colours to improve accessibility.

Design to-dos

There are still a couple of other design tasks that loom large in our minds:

Internet Explorer debugging

I need to get to the bottom of whether the website is displaying properly in Internet Explorer 9.

We have decided to withdraw our commitment to support Internet Explorer 8. Many large websites (including Google) only endeavour to support the previous two versions of any major browser. The current version of Internet Explorer is 11. However, we will still aim to support Internet Explorer 9.

Print stylesheet

We still need to create a print stylesheet. For the time being we are using the stylesheet developed by the web team for the main University website, but we need to tweak this to make it suitable for our design.

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