The University's site is now in 86th place in the Times Higher's annual league table of university and college websites.Previously, the site languished towards the bottom of the table and it's meteoric rise was the highest across the sector in 2013.
Here are the results.
Project management for the site make-over followed from a report and recommendations carried out by Phil Williams for Stamp Consulting Ltd. The site had plenty of rich content and excellent videos but suffered from cumbersome loading time and navigational problems.
Although the site content performed well in user-tests among 17 year old college students, its speed and functionality left a lot to be desired. The site was among the slowest in the sector and there was evidence of users 'giving up' before reaching the content they required.
Phil invited proposals from a range of web design companies and Clever Little Design were selected for their fresh and practical approach. As an interim solution, a new and more contemporary design was applied to the home-page and landing stages whilst work continued 'behind the scenes' on navigation and content.
We also advised on job roles and deployment within the University web team and the development of templates for ancillary units and on social media strategy.
It was a neat and quick solution but one which relied on engagement with multiple stakeholders, an understanding of audience requirements and user-routes. As an ensemble effort with close collaboration with the University's marketing department, academic, IT and support staff and an external design company the project went remarkably smoothly.
I often think that by their very nature, web projects add grey hairs to your head and take years off your life - but this one ran on-time, to budget and to plan. It was a great team effort.