Digital Communications team update – December 2021

John Chapman
Monday 13 December 2021

As we come towards the end of 2021 we thought it would be a good opportunity to summarise what the Digital Communications team has achieved in the past 12 months. 

Redesigned webpages

The team continued to make improvements to the University website throughout 2021 and worked on redesigning sections including:

T4v7 upgrade to v8

In summer we updated the T4v7 system to use the v8 software, bringing the user interface of v7 inline with v8. To avoid confusion we now refer to all pages held in the former v7 system as ‘T4 (old design)’, and all external pages already held in T4v8 as ‘T4 (new design)’.

Digital prospectus central data integration

For the first time the majority of undergraduate 2022-entry course pages were built using central data. The data integration removes the need to manually add information to the course pages every year, which is a massive achievement. We are very grateful to the Admissions team, Registry, IT Services and our two summer interns for their diligent work on this project.

University search moving to Squiz

Funnelback, the software used to provide search results on the University website was previously managed in-house. It is now looked after by Squiz, the company who develop Funnelback. This enables us to take advantage of updated software and improved functionality. In due course this will enable us to improve search results on the website.

WordPress

We have rationalised WordPress sites hosted on wp.st-andrews.ac.uk to reduce the complexity of maintaining websites. We now offer four themes (originally we had over 40!) that all comply with accessibility standards. Ongoing work will see the consolidation of WordPress sites currently hosted on other systems into the main University account. 

Social media

Throughout the year we have continued to add more Schools and Service Units to our Hootsuite Enterprise account. We now have 24 teams and 59 social media accounts making use of our social media management tool.

The main University channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) now have over 154,000 followers and since January 2021 we have shared 1,105 posts which have received over 348,000 engagements. View our most popular posts, based on likes, for Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

Staff changes

In August we were joined by two summer student interns, Piotr Kaniewski and Isla Evans. Their main task was to work on the digital prospectus central data migration however they also helped with other tasks including providing student feedback on the website, analytics, content creation and general website maintenance. Despite only being with us for six weeks, their work made a big impact and were valued members of the team.

This year the team also said goodbye to Jennifer Hamrick and David Kindness. Jennifer and David are missed by the team but we are pleased to say they are doing well in their new roles. 


Digital newsletter signup

The digital newsletter is sent out at the start of each month. Subscribe to keep up to date on the activities of the digital communications team and to receive useful articles and resources relating to digital best practice. To subscribe, please email digitalcommunications@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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