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    Archive for the 'General' Category

    What’s happening with the new CMS?

    By Susan M Farrell, on 23 January 2015

    We’ve been talking about the new CMS for ages, so what’s actually happening? Well, we are going through an EU tender process to procure our new CMS. This means that there are three stages to the procurement:

    Pre-qualification questionnaire – at this stage suppliers are asked to answer a whole range of questions about their company and their way of operating as well as what technological solution they are proposing.

    Invitation to tender – this is the stage when the suppliers must answer some in-depth questions about the solution they are suggesting and provide details of costs.

    Presentation – this provides an opportunity for UCL to quiz the suppliers further to ensure we are happy with what they are offering. We are also including a hands-on session at this stage. This is where the suppliers make their CMS available for a few content editors to have a go. This will enable us to judge how easy the CMS is to use rather than relying on the suppliers to tell us.

     

    Currently we are just concluding the Pre-qualification questionnaire stage. We have had to score the 21 questionnaires that were submitted and decide on the top 5 or 6 suppliers. These suppliers will then be invited to tender.

    I will keep you updated as we go through this process.

     

    Dan Jackson leaving

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 18 December 2014

    Today is Dan Jackson’s last day with Web & Mobile Services.

    We are very sad to see him go but would like to wish him all the very best!

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done for UCL, ISD and WAMS.

    Web & Mobile Services

    post-WebNet-post

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 11 December 2014

    For those who attended WebNet on December 3rd, 2014, those who wanted to attend but couldn’t and also those who never thought of attending:

    1. LectureCast of WebNet December 3rd, 2014 – with speaker Dan Jackson (WAMS) and Paul Boag (Headscape) – 55 minutes.
    2. Paul Boag’s Digital Transformation for HE (pdf to download)
    3. User-testing website – to get users video-ed whilst testing
    4. Free user-testing website ‘Peek’ with generic tasks
    5. Crazy Egg website – to see where people click on your site
    6. Don’t make me think by Steve Krug - if you have time to read a short book…
    7. Hemingway App – to help you edit long paragraphs

    Paul Boag at WebNet 2014 at UCL

    WebNet: Paul Boag – Wednesday, Dec 3rd at 2pm

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 17 November 2014

    Web & Mobile Services are inviting you to this term’s WebNet on December 3rd , 2014.
    It will take place at 2pm – 4pm in Lecture Theatre B17 in the basement of 1 – 19 Torrington Place.

    We are  very excited to confirm Paul Boag, digital strategist as our main speaker.

    Paul Boag is one of the founders of Headscape, a prolific blogger widely known for his very practical and sometimes controversial blog posts, who tweets regularly at https://twitter.com/boagworld and has over 20 years’ experience of helping organisations manage digital change.

    We have asked Paul to touch on a number of issues relevant to web Editors in his talk about ‘Digital Strategy’ such as content strategy and user testing, but are waiting to get the title of his talk confirmed.

    Dan Jackson from WAMS will be updating you on Indigo, the design language created by Web & Mobile Services.

    We will be advertising the event shortly – no need to book.

    Please look out for news, both in ‘The Week at UCL’ and on the ISD website.

    Looking forward to seeing you on December 3rd.

    Web & Mobile Services

    Not every good writer can write for the web…

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 20 June 2014

    Paul Boag writes about all things web-related. Sometimes the articles are of relevance, sometimes not, but I think this particular article is worth a read.

    You can listen to his post or read it. You can subscribe to his weekly newsletter. All up to you, but do read the one about writing for the web.

    WebNet05 – June 17th 2014

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 17 June 2014

    Today, the 5th WebNet meeting was held in the Christopher Inglold XLG LT between 2pm and 3.30pm.
    Relevant presentations are available on the WAMS webpage

    The next WebNet meeting will be held in the Autumn term.

    WebNet June 17th 2 – 4pm

    By Web and Mobile Services (WAMS) , on 5 June 2014

    Christopher Ingold XLG1 Chemistry LT

    WAMS will present the soon-to-go-live new Search feature on the UCL website and all sites using the Corporate Identity template!

    Please register on the WAMS webpage.

    Why did we choose Silva!?

    By , on 23 September 2011

    A question often asked of us here in Web Services!  The choice was ultimately made by me and Neil Martin, we were the two Web Support Officers at the time but our choice was severely limited.

    The Content Management System Project Group (CMSPG) was set up in April 2002 to look into the options available for a CMS.  Very early on in the process that group settled on Zope as the framework for the future development of the CMS.  I was initially unimpressed by Zope on my first dealings with it.

    Several other universities had already started using Zope but with different CMS built on top of it.  In November 2003 I organised a Zope users meeting at the UCL and we had visitors from Bristol, Birkbeck, Oxford Brookes, ICH and others.  They were using different CMSs including Zope’s Content Management Framework (CMF), Plone and EasyPublisher.  In February 2004 I demoed some of the options for Zope to Information Systems (IS).  To say they weren’t impressed is an understatement!  Just after that meeting Neil discovered that his former employers, Luton University were using a Zope based CMS that we hadn’t heard off, Silva.  I quickly installed it and we arranged to go visit them.

    Compared to other CMS on offer Silva provided out-of-the-box organisational workflow which compared favourably to the community based alternatives where we would have had to develop the workflows separately which was something that would have been difficult to achieve quickly given our, then, limited Zope, Python skills.  The templating system was also very simple compared to the others and Neil and I could reproduce UCL templating very quickly.  It was also easier to build simple tools into it for template menuing etc.  It was the obvious choice for us.

    IS signed up Debs Pollard in late May 2004 to give us sysadmin support for the CMS and we finally started up the live service in early 2005.  Jon Bowlas joined up shortly after as our Silva Developer and we made great progress after that.

    There are now around 540 sites in Silva and we have some promising new developments on the way for 2012!  More on that in an bit.

    Joke of the day…

    By Nick Dawe, on 19 January 2011

    ‘So this SEO copywriter walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, Irish bar, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor’

    Goodbye to Neil…

    By Nick Dawe, on 10 September 2010

    As many UCL readers will know, our Web Services manager left us last month in order to emigrate with his family to Australia. Neil’s been working in Web Services for 8 years – a time that has seen huge changes in the Web and the way that we use it. At the beginning of this year, Neil’s role extended to becoming manager of Design and Web Services, in which he also had to grapple with the areas of print and graphic design. As well as being a encouraging manager and an expert on Web standards, we’ve also consistently enjoyed his humour, enthusiasm, and the opportunity to play with his iPad.

    A rare image of the Web Services team smiling. L-R: David Gillies, Jon Bowlas, Neil Martin, Ralph Bartholomew and Nick Dawe