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Rich media content: the future of University websites

A few weeks ago, myself, Steve and Gareth attended attended IWMW 2016 (the Institutional Web Management Workshop) in Liverpool. The overall theme of the conference this year was ‘Understanding Users; Managing Change; Delivering Services’. I attended a workshop on rich media content, specifically on how to maximise user impact from such content.

1 August 2016Content

Plain English does not mean “dumbing down”

There seems to be some confusion over this point, so let me be clear – writing in plain English does not equate to “dumbing down” content. In the words of Lorena Sutherland, content lead for Office of the Public Guardian on GOV.UK: “It’s not dumbing down, it’s opening up”.  

14 July 2016Content

Make your content stand out against the crowd

There’s nothing new under the sun. For the most part, every topic that could be talked about has been talked about. This can be a daunting realisation for digital writers who struggle to produce new and engaging material in the sea of content found online. Here are three simple ideas for creating content that stands…

12 July 2016Content

The new postgraduate taught course pages are live!

Over the last six months, the content team have been working hard to create centralised web pages which advertise each of the postgraduate taught courses on offer at St Andrews for a 2016 entry. With 108 PGT courses to create content for, and almost as many course coordinators to liaise with in order to get…

25 June 2016Content

Why we avoid writing in first person on external pages

As part of the University house style, we do not use first person when addressing external audiences unless speaking from the perspective of the University as a whole. [Note: second person, ‘you’, is acceptable.] It may seem hypocritical to include ‘we’ in the title of this post, but I want to highlight the fact that…

8 June 2016Content

Images: Quality over quantity

The modern web is built on strong visual imagery. Sites like Twitter, Netflix, and even LinkedIn, all utilise large images to add to their sites’ appeal, aesthetic, and brand identity. The University of St Andrews’ updated web design uses large imagery for the same purpose. You may be thinking, “Right, I’ve got it. Populate my…

9 May 2016Content

Millennials and the importance of user-centred content

Who are the millennials? Millennials, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, are those born between 1980 and 2000. Having come of age in a time of massive technological change and economic disruption, millennials are very different to previous generations. The first generation to have grown up with the internet, they are digital natives and embrace…

18 April 2016Content

Benefits of blogging

Blogging: what was once thought of as only a platform for online diaries has now become a powerful tool for businesses, newsgroups, politicians, creative professionals and, more relevantly to St Andrews, academics. Academics, departments and schools within universities have increasingly used blogs to publish news and events, disseminate research and share expert insights into relevant…

14 April 2016Content

Prospective PG student survey results

The digital communications team aims to adhere to the principles of user-centred design in everything we do. An integral part of this process is collecting user feedback. This is important at the beginning of a project as a means of requirements gathering; throughout a project as we make iterative improvements; and finally at the end…

11 April 2016Content Digital transformation Public website

5 tips for writing concisely

One of the key techniques for writing for the web is to keep content concise. Eye-tracking studies show that the longer a web page is, the less content users will read. Keeping your writing concise will save your reader time, and will make sure they get the important information they need. How can you keep…

6 April 2016Content Training