WebNet Autumn Term 2016: further information and slides
By Clare Kennedy, on 2 December 2016
Thank you to all editors who attended this term’s WebNet. We’ve had good feedback about the event and it was fantastic to see so many of you there.
We were especially pleased to be joined by colleagues from UCL Brain Sciences who shared their experience of building a new site in Drupal and working with colleagues across UCL on their re-launched site: www.ucl.ac.uk/brain-sciences
The section on the functionality of the new CMS provoked many interesting questions which we’ve rounded up for you on our new Drupal feature page and on our other service pages.
We discussed website standards in the context of department and faculty sites and explained that online guidance will be shared in the new year as part of UCL’s new response to Competitions and Markets Authority guidance for HEIs. A very good question arose after WebNet on whether we also need to look at standards around professional services sites. We think this is very important but we should wait until the ongoing user research into staff and student digital experience is complete before taking this forward (see below for more on this project).
We shared and discussed the new URL naming policy and details of our 2016-17 Digital Transformation projects and links to further information and answers to all your questions are below.
Drupal project update
All the information you need on the CMS project is on our Drupal page. Colleagues were naturally very interested in the timeline for migrating sites to Drupal. This will begin in earnest after the beta roll-out (from March) and we will contact content site owners two months before the work is carried out with a migration checklist and full details of the process:
CMS features and functionality roadmap
Your functionality questions and answers are now on our new Drupal features page. The main aim of the CMS project is to replicate all functionality currently available in Silva so we can focus on migrating all sites to Drupal and eventually decommission Silva but we will continue to capture feature requests and publish the roadmap on the features page:
Moving to Indigo
We looked at how many sites have already moved to Indigo and and discussed the need for Digital Presence to ensure the message is clear on the benefits of moving both to enhance the usability of sites but also to pave the way to Drupal. Find out more about the benefits and process of moving to Indigo on our website:
URL naming policy
Joel Hardman, our Web Technical Lead, shared details of the URL naming policy that has been approved by the Digital Transformation Governance Group as part of our website governance structure. As such we reserve the right to approve all URLs via the domain eligibility committee and work with you to find a good URL that meets all our best practice and SEO criteria and your own website goals:
- Read the URL naming policy on our request a website page
Digital Transformation projects 2016-17
Susan Farrell, Head of Digital Presence, shared details of the Digital Transformation domain’s projects for the current year including user research into key staff and student user journeys, a new ‘virtual student centre’ website for current students, improved search, event management and prospectus management.
- Download the full WebNet Autumn 2016 slides (PDF)
WebNet, 16 November: Find out more about the Drupal service roll-out
By Clare Kennedy, on 20 October 2016
This term’s WebNet will take place on Wednesday 16 November, 2-4pm at 26 Bedford Way (Room G03).
The session will focus on the next phase of the Drupal CMS project and cover:
- Drupal pilot sites update: hear from our Brain Sciences and Teaching & Learning pilot site editors on their experience of using Drupal and how they have helped us to shape and improve the new CMS
- CMS features and product roadmap: a look at current Drupal functionality and how we will manage your requests for new features
- Moving from Silva to Drupal: service roll-out, prioritisation, timing, training and support
- Your questions and comments
No need to book. We hope to see you there. If you can’t make the meeting, further and more detailed communications on Drupal and what it means for your websites will be sent in early November via the Digital Presence newsletter and our other channels.
A quick update on CTA buttons and their use in Indigo
By Joel Hardman, on 26 July 2016
Update 18 August 2016
This has now been applied.
A call-to-action button’s purpose on your website is to provide the user with a visually enhanced link to point them to the most likely action they are looking for on your web pages.
They are styled in a consistent style on all our Indigo sites so that the user can see the most important call-to-action without having to think. See Steve Krug’s iconic book for more advice on usability and intuitive websites:
As these are specific user events we also track these CTA buttons as events so they are easier to monitor in Google Analytics.
Recently we have been considering the use of CTA buttons in our CMS and we have realised that this pattern has been misused in the ‘more news’ and ‘more events’ links at the bottom of the news/events feed widgets. In order to address this we will be rolling out a change in the next day or two that will change the ‘more news’ and ‘more events’ links back to normal text links. No other CTAs should be affected but do contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Three things we love about Drupal
By Clare Kennedy, on 1 July 2016
Do more within the text editor
One of our favourite features in the new CMS is the WYSIWG text editor. We’ve modified the standard Drupal editor to add great new functionality that can be used from within the editor. You will be able to:
- Add a call-to-action with one click
- Create an image gallery
- Change the number of columns and create your perfect detail page
Helptext and labels to get more from your content
A key element in building a CMS tailored to UCL’s needs is the creation of intuitive labels and help text to guide editors in building accessible, usable and on-brand web pages. All components and fields have a description and explanation on avoiding common pitfalls and getting the most from your content.
No more hunting for images
And finally, we think you’ll love the new Media Library. As with WordPress, your images are stored in one Library so it’s easier to search for them plus you can see the images in thumbnail format!
Small change on UCL’s footer
By Digital Presence , on 26 May 2016
For those of you who look at their websites regularly, a small change may catch your eye!
We’ve been asked by the Communications and Marketing Office to move the links to UCL Australia and UCL Qatar to UCL Global where they can now be found under
www.ucl.ac.uk/global/around-the-world and last night this change was put live.
The Digital Presence Team
Any questions? Contact email@example.com
New websites for the UCL Institute of Education and UCL Dementia
By Clare Kennedy, on 21 March 2016
The Digital Presence team are proud to have worked on two key UCL websites which went live in February.
The UCL Institute of Education relaunched its website recently after an ambitious project to redevelop and rebuild the site using Indigo, UCL’s responsive web design framework. Digital Presence worked closely with digital agency Nomensa and with the IOE digital team, led by Head of Marketing and Communications Clare George.
Describing the new site as a true milestone, Clare said: “The site has enabled us to take our place within UCL’s wider digital estate, and has linked us more effectively with systems and content. The project has also been one of the best examples of teamwork I’ve been involved with, including fantastic creative and technical support and guidance from Digital Presence, contributions from staff right across IOE, and incredible dedication from the IOE digital team itself. We’re already enjoying all the opportunities the new site gives us to engage more effectively with our audiences.”
Another key UCL site to go live recently is the UCL Dementia website, built by Morgan Williams from the School of Life and Medical Sciences.
As Morgan explains: “Dementia is a priority area for UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences. It was vital that we developed a clear, coherent, compelling and accessible set of web pages to serve as a gateway into the wealth of dementia-related content within UCL’s web estate. I’m very pleased with the experience of using Indigo to create these pages and with a final product that, I hope, will fully meet our users’ needs.”
The Digital Presence team also worked closely with colleagues in DARO to develop the dementia site’s fundraising pages to support the UCL Dementia Retail Partnership through which major retailers have pledged to donate the money raised by the carrier bag levy.
WebNet presentation and name change
By Digital Presence , on 19 January 2016
For those of you who attended WebNet in December 2015 and those who couldn’t attend, please read the presentation used at WebNet.
What is the presentation about?
It covers the CMS project, website standards and the launch of our new ‘building-great-websites’ site.
This site is for people who are building / going to build a website and outlines everything you need to think about before and during the build!
Name change for WAMS
Following a review of the former Learning Technology and Media Services (LTMS) teams in ISD, it has been decided to change the names of the individual teams
from January 1st, 2016, to reflect more accurately what they do:
- Digital Media (formerly Creative Media Services)
- Digital Education (formely E-learning Environments or ELE)
- Digital Presence (formerly Web & Mobile Services or WAMS)
There are no changes to email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Please also look at our project page for the new CMS (Drupal)
WebNet: autumn term meeting on 2 December
By Clare Kennedy, on 13 November 2015
You’re warmly invited to join Web & Mobile Services on Wednesday 2 December, 2-4 pm, at 20 Bedford Way, Room LG04 for this term’s WebNet meeting.
Take part in a Q&A session about UCL’s new content management system, learn more about the Drupal feature roadmap and find out about the work being done to improve department and faculty websites.
We will upload the meeting slides to the blog following WebNet and update our online CMS project FAQs to include questions covered during the meeting. Keep an eye on the WebNet category for further posts.
No need to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!
Update to 2-column layout for all Indigo sites live
By Joel Hardman, on 20 October 2015
Just a quick note to let you know that this morning we rolled out the change to reduce the space between the centre and right columns of the two column layout. Sorry it’s a little late, other priorities got in the way. More details can be seen on this post.
Any issues problems please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web and Mobile Services
Update to 2-column layout for all Indigo sites (live AND Sandbox)
By Joel Hardman, on 11 September 2015
Hi Indigo template editors,
We have recently noticed as part of our indigo roll-out work that the 2-column layout has a slight error – the middle column wasn’t wide enough (see the grid below it should go to dl4 not dl3 – see the yellow in the diagram) – which leaves a large gap between the middle and right column, like this:
So we are going to roll out a fix to this on Monday (28th September 2015) like this – which then gives the column more room and makes it look all round better-balanced. (Note – we have delayed the change from the 21st as we want to ensure it is well communicated)
Possible issues with existing sites
The only possible issue that could occur is if any image you have uploaded is the exact size of the column it is in – because after the change it will need to expand to 80px wider than it is now – so please can you all have a quick look around your sites with ?domain=uat at the end of your link
and address any issues before the switch-over date – note this link only works inside the UCL network!
If you have any questions of concerns, please comment below or email email@example.com
Web and Mobile Services