Web designer within the University of St Andrews digital communications team. A graduate of Abertay University (BA Hons Computer Arts, 2012), Lewis joined the digital communications team in 2013 during the re-design of the admissions website which lead to the new visual design for the University website. Lewis is a jack of all trades when it comes to design and media. You'll mainly find him burrowed in the depths of Photoshop meticulously crafting designs to pixel perfection.

Winter Graduation 2018 live stream data

On Thursday 6 and Friday 7 December 2018, four graduation ceremonies were streamed live on the University website. These streams were accessible via YouTube and were embedded on one page of the University website. We also setup an alternative webpage embedding a stream feed with lower bandwidth primarily for users who have no access to YouTube, and for users encountering potential problems with the YouTube stream.

After each ceremony had ended, each YouTube video’s privacy was set to ‘unlisted’. The videos were only publicly accessible for an average of 90 minutes each.

Here’s a breakdown of the data.

Page views of the ‘watch graduation live’ web page per country

The YouTube video was embedded on the University website on the ‘watch graduation live‘ web page. This year we set up an alternative webpage for users who had restricted access from YouTube based on their geographic location, or encountered any problems with the YouTube live stream. This separate feed was embedded on the webpage using Flowplayer.

The countries with the top ten page views are as follows:

Country Unique page views
United Kingdom 1,551
Germany 507
United States of America 191
China 123
Italy 64
Austria 60
India 54
Netherlands 44
Canada 36
Thailand 36

Page views within the St Andrews network

In total, the ‘watch graduation live webpage had 3,214 page views over the two day period.

There 716 unique page views from St Andrews of the ‘watch graduation live’ webpage.

Therefore 835 page views were from viewers from the rest of the UK and 1,663 page views were from international viewers.


Location Unique page views
In St Andrews 716
Rest of the UK 835
International 1,663

YouTube views per graduation ceremony

View counts of the four graduation ceremonies were evenly distributed. In total, the YouTube videos had 1,974 views.

Country Views
Thursday AM 543
Thursday PM 473
Friday AM 527
Friday PM 431
Total 1,974

YouTube views per country

From the YouTube data, we can determine which parts of the world viewers were in when watching the live stream.

In total, the live stream hosted on YouTube was viewed in 71 countries.

The top ten countries the ceremonies were viewed in are as follows:

Country Total playbacks
United Kingdom 1,026
Germany 309
United States of America 148
India 56
Austria 50
Thailand 42
Italy 36
France 28
Sri Lanka 28
Bangladesh 25

Devices used to view YouTube videos

Users were mainly viewing the YouTube live streams on computers and laptops, although there is a high percentage of users viewing the live stream on mobile phones.

There were also two unique views from PlayStation consoles as YouTube apps are also accessible on game consoles.

Device type Views
Computer 1,135
Mobile phone 693
Tablet 127
TV 17
Game console 2

Browsers used to view the ‘watch graduation live’ web page

Google Chrome and Safari were almost equally used to view the ‘watch graduation live’ web page. Both are popular browsers on computers and iOS devices.

Browser Unique page views
Chrome 1141
Safari 1130
Firefox 240
Safari (in-app) 188
Android Webview 157
Edge 133
Internet Explorer 103
Samsung Internet 96
Opera 10
Android Browser 7

Page views for alternative ‘watch graduation live’ web page per country

The countries with the top five page views of the alternative page are displayed in the below charts.

Users from China have restricted access to YouTube. There is a direct correlation between users based in China navigating from the ‘watch graduation live’ web page (123 page views), through to the alternative web page (102 page views). A minor drop off, but overall a success to distribute the live stream to users based in China.

Country Unique page views
United Kingdom 189
China 102
Germany 73
United States of America 41
Poland 12


This year was the first time we offered two ways to view the live stream of the graduation ceremonies. It is clear that offering an alternative to YouTube meets a user need for countries like China. We will continue to offer this service for future graduation ceremonies.

The continued growth of mobile devices to view the web site and live streams means we need to continually test the web pages on a variety of platforms to ensure they are optimised for our visitors.

Homepage survey findings

In order to inform the refreshed design of the University of St Andrews homepage, the digital communications team wanted to establish what the top tasks were for all users of the current University homepage. The survey was also an opportunity for the team to gauge contextual information about how internal audiences currently use the University website.
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Calling all web developers!

The digital communications team are seeking an experienced Web Developer to maintain and support web services notably where changes need to be made to coding and other infrastructure elements.

Already convinced? Apply for this position online today! Closing date is Monday 30 July 2018.
Continue reading “Calling all web developers!”

Design sprints

To help improve the development of the University website, we have begun implementing the methodologies of ‘design sprints’ into our process. Our friends over at the University of Dundee were so kind to include some members of the digital communications team in their very own design sprints. We have found them to be very beneficial in achieving quick, successful results. Jumping right into it, first question’s first…

What is a design sprint?

A design sprint is a framework for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing. The design sprint process allows the users and stakeholders of a product/project to fully understand any problems, and then collaboratively generate design ideas to a possible solution.
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Digital pattern library – version 1.12.0

We have launched version 1.12.0 of the digital pattern library. This release of the DPL features changes and new options for patterns that will be used on the redesigned research and news sections of the University website. We have also updated the documentation for a number of other patterns.
Continue reading “Digital pattern library – version 1.12.0”

Digital pattern library – version 1.11.0

We have launched version 1.11.0 of the digital pattern library. This release of the DPL features new patterns and changes that will be used on the redesigned research section of the University website. We have also updated the documentation for a number of other patterns.
Continue reading “Digital pattern library – version 1.11.0”

How we worked remotely as a team during a snow storm

At the start of March 2018 the UK was hit by a snow storm known as “The Beast from the East”. The Met Office issued multiple red warnings for Scotland and as a result the University of St Andrews, among many other institutions and businesses, urged their staff not to travel into work. This inevitably affected the productivity of many units throughout the University, but luckily in digital communications we had prepared for a scenario like this. Continue reading “How we worked remotely as a team during a snow storm”