Digital Communications team update – September 2023

Elizabeth Andrews
Thursday 28 September 2023

Latest updates from the Digital Communications team at the University of St Andrews for September 2023.

Publication of guides

The content team worked closely with Student Services to create new content in the form of ‘guides’.

These pages provide clear, concise, visually appealing and accessible information to help students navigate the University’s services and support.

The first guides were published prior to Orientation Week and cover everything from how to get help in a crisis, to how to find a dentist.

Visit our first guides landing page for more information.

We will continue to work with Student Services and other Units to replace old style web pages with guides.

Over time this will reduce the number of web pages across the University website and improve the user experience.


Daniela, Teo and Lewis were out and about during Orientation Week testing the Student Services guides with new and returning students to ensure the guide format aligns with user needs.

Stationed outside the University Library, and equipped with a range of enticing sweet treats, they engaged students in hands-on user testing of our new course search and recently published guides.

The feedback was very positive.

PDFs – just say no!

We have received a number of requests for PDFs to be added to the University website, but we’ve had to decline these requests, or advise on alternative solutions.

There are many reasons for not using PDFs online, yet people really like and continue to produce them: why could that be?

Earlier this month, the team removed about 4,000 PDFs from the University website.

These PDFs, associated with the previous module catalogue, can now be found in the module catalogue archive, where they are not taking up active web space, causing download issues, or turning up on accessibility reports.

To find out more about why we should avoid PDFs online, read the blog post.

Welcome Richard

We welcomed another new member to the digital content team, which is now at full complement again.

Richard Rooney joins the team as Web Content Editor and Trainer following a long and stellar career with DC Thomson in Dundee, where he was a key player in a major digital transformation project.

Read Richard’s blog post to find out more.

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