By Sasha Arms, on 20 August 2015
The new website for the Communications and Marketing office (CAM) has launched this week at: www.ucl.ac.uk/cam
There have been aspirations in CAM for some time to update and improve the website, namely to be as useful as possible to the colleagues across UCL we support, as well as to reflect the breadth of work CAM does. We started the new website process in March 2015 and are pleased to unveil the new website this week.
1. A common piece of feedback CAM has received is that our colleagues across UCL do not necessarily know which team within CAM is responsible for specific areas of communications and marketing. CAM is comprised of five teams: Communications, Corporate Events, the International Office, Media Relations and Publications and Marketing Services (PAMS).
These teams look after everything from digital communications, branding implementation and public events, to the print and online prospectus, graduate marketing and international student recruitment. Understandably, therefore, it’s not always clear to people which team or individual is responsible for what.
2. Furthermore, from the feedback we’ve received, it’s clear that when our colleagues across UCL get in touch with us, they do so with a specific activity in mind. This principle formed the basis of our new website structure. Rather than having to work through team pages to find the one responsible for a particular activity, users can now view all the activities CAM is responsible for from the home page of the CAM website.
Activities are thus at the core of the website, and each activity page summarises the support available to UCL departments in relation to that activity, as well as the key contact(s) for the activity, relevant resources, and links to related activities.
3. Since relatively small teams in CAM aim to support the whole UCL community, our time can sometimes be spread quite thin. That’s why it’s also important for us to provide resources and toolkits to help more colleagues across the organisation. As well as having these available on relevant activity pages, we have a dedicated A to Z of resources on the new CAM site, giving users easy access to the range of resources the department has available. These resources will be added to as more are developed.
4. Finally, with the release of the new Indigo framework from Web and Mobile Services (WAMS), we were keen to implement a CAM website that took advantage of the new elements made possible by Indigo, such as responsive templates.
Once we had developed a first version of the new CAM website, which addressed these principle issues, we invited a sample of ten users from a range of UCL departments to take part in user testing sessions, aided by some user testing software called Camtasia. Users were asked to complete a series of tasks designed to test fundamental aspects of the website. They were also asked to think of real-life needs they might have in relation to communications and marketing, then see if they could fulfil their needs using the website.
We recorded some key themes from these user testing sessions, both positive and negative:
- Users liked seeing the list of activities up-front on the website and thought the activities list covered everything they might be looking for on the website.
- Users could easily find the contact details of CAM staff responsible for specific activities and areas of work.
- Users liked the consistent layout on each activity page and felt this would make the site easy to use on an ongoing basis.
- Many users did not notice the top navigation links and introductory copy on the home page.
- Users expected the website to look more ‘visual’ e.g. with images, although users also felt the lack of visuals made it obvious the website was aimed at internal audiences.
- Many users stopped scrolling at the end of the activities list on the home page, presuming there was no further information, when in fact there were two further sections.
- Most users did not find the Resources section.
We responded to the negative aspects we recorded in the user testing sessions by:
- making the top navigation more prominent, introducing a left-hand navigation from the home page, and making the introductory text more prominent by pulling out links to other key sections of the website
- introducing images to key landing pages of the website, while maintaining best practice in terms of not adding too many distracting decorative images
- removing the sections previously appearing at the bottom of the home page, since the more prominent navigation and links at the top of the page removed the necessity of these sections
- making the Resources section more prominent as a result of the improvements to the navigational links.
After implementing the recommendations we compiled from the user testing sessions and further refining the new CAM website, we are pleased to launch the website this week. The website can be found on the same url as the old CAM site: www.ucl.ac.uk/cam
If you have any queries or feedback about the new CAM website, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org