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  • November 2015
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    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 the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, Room LG04 for this term’s WebNet meeting. Directions to the Institute of Education can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps/ioe

    Take part in a Q&A session about UCL’s new content management system, see the Drupal feature roadmap and learn about the work being done to improve department and faculty websites. More details on the agenda will be shared on the Web Services blog over the next two weeks. Keep an eye on the WebNet category for further posts.

    We look forward to seeing you next month!

    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 web-support@ucl.ac.uk.


    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:

    Snap 2015-09-11 at 15.56.37


    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)


    Snap 2015-09-11 at 15.59.47


    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

    e.g. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/indigo?domain=uat

    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 web-support@ucl.ac.uk

    Many thanks

    Web and Mobile Services

    WebNet presentation

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 22 June 2015

    Thanks to those that came to the WebNet meeting on June 18th.
    We have had a number of requests for the presentation and for those who came but would like to have another look, please visit the WAMS news page on the ISD website at


    Reminder – WebNet tomorrow June 18th

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 17 June 2015

    This is to remind you that tomorrow, Thursday June 18th,  between 12 and 2, WAMS is holding its termly WebNet meeting which this time is dedicated to a briefing about
    Indigo and Silva and the new CMS.

    The room is in the basement of the Cruciform building:

    LT2 Basement 404

    Feel free to bring your lunch.

    Hope to see you there!
    The WAMS team


    WebNet: Indigo and Silva Briefing

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 9 June 2015

    Come and find out more about Indigo – UCL’s website design pattern library – and how it works with Silva.

    The provisional programme is:

    The new CMS: what’s happening?
    What is Indigo?
    What is the difference between an Indigo Silva template and the existing corporate template?
    How easy is it to move my site to Indigo Silva?
    Is Silva editing different with Indigo?
    When can I start?

    No need to book.
    Venue: Cruciform Basement, B404 – LT2
    Date: Thursday 18 June 2015
    Time: 12.00 – 2.00pm


    UCL’s new CMS

    By Susan M Farrell, on 4 June 2015

    I’m pleased to inform you that we have now chosen our new CMS and the supplier who will work with us to implement it.

    The CMS is Drupal which is Open Source and has a very strong developer community and wide usage.

    The supplier is Code Enigma, a specialist Drupal company which is actively involved in the developer community and has wide experience of implementing Drupal.

    The project will start later this month.


    Silva editing broken in Chrome

    By Joel Hardman, on 22 May 2015


    The fix has now been rolled out so editing should work in Chrome again – please hard refresh you page if you are still having problems (CTRL F5 / CMD F5)


    It looks like Chrome has recently updated and broken Silva editing – the save button doesn’t work.

    So please use Firefox to edit.



    Silva outage – Wed May 6th 2015

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 27 April 2015

    Dear Silva Editors,

    Outage – no editing – Wed May 6th between 5pm and 8pm

    Next week Wednesday between 17.00pm and 20.00pm there will be NO editing in Silva.

    Please pass this on to the relevant Chief Editors, Editors, and Authors.

    We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

    Best wishes,

    Web & Mobile Services

    User Research: Undergraduate Prospectus

    By Rik Williams, on 18 March 2015

    I’m , Web Content and User Experience Manager at UCL. I’m responsible for leading user research activities which help make sure that ucl.ac.uk meets the real needs of its customers and the university.

    On the 2nd and 3rd of March WAMS and PAMS headed to City Interaction Lab to assess the usability of the new Undergraduate Prospectus branch of the website. Recruiting students is an essential function for the UCL site. Indeed the Prospective Students section underpins at least 26% of all visits to ucl.ac.uk, even though it only has ±1% of the webpages.

    We found that the new site is generally effective, and improves upon its predecessor, but that there aspects that we can make easier to use for the customer.

    What we did

    We recruited seven participants who were representative of the cross-section of our prospective undergraduate student customers. We set scenarios which were mapped to the principal tasks, user journeys and content areas across the Prospective Students site. For example we made sure that we tested not only the new Undergraduate site but also those which support it, like Accommodation and Visit UCL. We asked our participants to think-out-loud as they completed the scenarios using a range of devices, like tablet computers and smartphones.

    Usability test

    What we learned

    The PAMS team observed a video feed of the testing sessions in an observation room (ably facilitated by Alex Pardoe from ISD). During these sessions they recorded how they thought the websites helped or frustrated the participants as they attempted to complete the scenarios. These observations where then grouped by type and severity in a short workshop after the last research session.

    Ranking Workshop

    Three things that worked well

    A representative quote:

    A good-looking website on top of the fact that it’s a really helpful website discussing pretty much everything I could think of about the course itself.

    — Participant 3, during the end of test interview
    1. Finding a degree course (A-Z, Subject Area) worked very well. The process of finding collections of suitable degree programmes was very efficient and intuitive. There is scope to improve aspects course search to make it more consistent and effective, but in general it worked very well.
    2. The degree template has to structure and present a complex and voluminous range of content for a programme. This template is effective, in particular its primary navigationn which links to each of the sections on the page. This was especially true on mobile devices where this navigation responded well to the screen size of the devices used.
    3. Finding entry requirements for a degree is an essential task but the content needed is very complex. This is because our customers come from all over the world and many education systems. The mechanism for grade equivalences is discoverable, easy to use and better than (most) of the competition.

    Three things that need improving

    A representative quote:

    I feel very frustrated to be honest. I [just] don’t know why I’m being asked all this information. I don’t feel very comfortable about it.

    — Participant 2, during the CRM form completion task
    1. a hierarchical approach to content design undermined user journeys. For example: it is very difficult to move between the undergraduate website and the accommodation website. Future projects will need to consider user journeys by making sure that they are defined, join-up and are achievable.
    2. users tended to satisfice when looking for information. This meant that they often didn’t find the optimal content for their tasks. For example: they would find a selection of scholarships on a degree page but miss the link the index of all scholarships.
    3. the CRM form, which allows prospective students to register their interest in UCL, is very hard to complete. This is because of its complexity, scale and the need to create an account with UCL.

    PAMS and WAMS will be working on implementing solutions iteratively as we work on the Prospective Students site.

    Find out more

    Contact WAMS if you would like to learn more about how effective your website or application might be, along with the other services we offer: