Launch of new University home page

Stephen Evans
Friday 12 June 2015


A prototype for the new University home page has been available since March this year. Finally it is time to make it live! From Monday, the prototype home page will become the home page for the whole University website. The new design is mobile friendly, easier for people who don’t know the University to use and faster to navigate. It is also focused specifically at external audiences, providing a seamless mobile experience from the home page to Study at St Andrews, where the majority of our external visitors go to find out about becoming a student at St Andrews.

The user is important

The digital communications team has always aimed to put the user at the heart of all of our design, content and development decisions. The new site has reorganised the original ‘about’ and ‘visiting’ sections to make the content more focused on user needs.  You will now see new sections called ‘community facilities’ and ‘business services’ explicitly aimed at external audiences – users who are not current staff or students of the University. We hope that by adding these sections, we can promote the services and facilities of the University as well as answer some of the frequently asked questions for departments such as the Library, the Sports Centre and The Byre.

The reorganisation is the result of analysing user needs, usability testing and gathering feedback, as well as work we undertook with consultant Paul Boag. After the site goes live we will continue to analyse data such as the number of page views and time spent on the site to determine how we can make further enhancements.

Next steps

Since launching the prototype in March, we have received over 80 pieces of feedback from users. If you took the time to leave your comments in our feedback form, thank you. Every piece of feedback was carefully considered during our testing phase. One big change we made thanks to user feedback was to change the header of the site. Almost half of the feedback left was about the ‘icons’ which could be used to toggle to the current staff and students sections; it was found to be difficult to use, and so we changed it. Usability testing has shown that our new design makes it easy for current staff and students to navigate to their parts of the website. If you left feedback on the prototype and don’t see things have changed, please be aware that we are now working on a new version of the website where we can more easily address the issues raised.

Spot an issue?

If you’re using the new home page or about section and come across a broken link, typo or functional problem, please let us know by emailing [email protected].

Be part of the journey

As we continue to develop the University website we will be actively seeking feedback from our key stakeholders. We will also be blogging regularly about what we are working on.

Sign up for the digital communications newsletter to receive a summary of the work we have completed, upcoming work, interesting blog posts and news articles.

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5 thoughts on "Launch of new University home page"

  • Jane Magee
    Jane Magee
    Thursday 18 June 2015, 12.20am

    Text is not amusing to those seeking data: "Perhaps it floated out to sea"

  • Jane Magee
    Jane Magee
    Thursday 18 June 2015, 12.35am

    Is this the sum total of statistical information to be provided online? Im not sure if I'm missing something? Where is the data on rankings? Where is the statistical information to quote to others? Where do we find annual facts and figures to use in talks? Many of us need to provide up-to-date information across a range of media, and this is the time of year for updating our materials, and learning that we're 600 years old with "almost" 8000 students isn't quite cutting it.

    • Carley Hollis
      Carley Hollis
      Friday 19 June 2015, 11.40am

      Hi Jane, Thanks for your comments on the Facts page. This is a page which we are likely to iterate on in the next version of the site, so we value your feedback. The new facts page is aimed at people who have little knowledge of the University; it is aimed to give an overview of our history, reputation and the University today. Statistical information for prospective students can be found within the Study at St Andrews website - Information for current staff to use should be accessible from the current staff section, and up to date information is held by the Statistical Analysis & Benchmarking Team - We will be updating the content on this page in partnership with the relevant teams as new facts and figures are passed on to us.

  • Paloma Gay y Blasco
    Paloma Gay y Blasco
    Friday 3 July 2015, 10.25am

    Why isn't there a link to the library on the home page? The library is one of the key parts of the university, and it's nowhere to be seen.

    • Carley Hollis
      Carley Hollis
      Friday 14 August 2015, 2.11pm

      Hi Paloma, Thanks for your comment. The reason that there is no link through from the home page to the Library website is based on the data we gathered in the discovery phase of the project. As can be seen in this post, Google Analytics data showed most of the clicks from the home page to the library website came from internal users - so current students and staff. The home page is focuses on external users. We created some user stories as to why an external user may want to find out about the library, and added this information to our About section and to the Study at St Andrews website. Once we had created these pages, there were no remaining user stories for external users to need a link through to the library website from the homepage. Current students and staff can still access the Library website from the hub pages for staff and current students and we will ensure that internal users can access their library records and related tools when we redevelop these pages. We will also continue to monitor the data and perform usability testing to iterate on our design but please send any further feedback to digitalcommunications@.


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