Our Go Mobile programme is up and running: 17, yes 17 (!) sites went live in September.
Phase 1 (our ‘beta/test/is this even possible’ phase) was a success. And because of this, we’re going to carry on and put the rest of our external-facing website through the programme.
Go mobile explained
Go Mobile is a project to make our website mobile responsive. This means it works on desktop computers as well as tablets and mobile phones.
But we’re not making things easy for ourselves. As well as adding a responsive design we’re also:
- improving content – rewriting for mobile
- updating assets – our new design needs higher quality images to support content
- moving to a new content management system (TerminalFour – T4)
You can see some examples in action:
Oh no! Why have they changed everything?
Some of our feedback, particularly from University staff, has been unhappiness that we’ve changed or moved things. Remember we’re doing this for the greater good!
Our websites now work just as well on mobile as on huge desktop screens. Go Mobile is about improving access for all.
Key developments cover navigation, design and content
How you move through pages needs to be simpler and easier for mobile (smaller screens). Navigation is improved for those using desktops too. We’ve made sites shallower and removed redundant content.
Design enhances your website but doesn’t rule it. We’re always thinking about what our users want from the web content. For example, we’ve made sure that images are impactful and support our messages. But we’ve made sure that our template prioritises for you: on mobile, images shrink and drop under content.
Text for mobile is written in short, easy to read paragraphs. This helps when it’s stacked for smaller mobile screens.
We’ve also introduced styles like the introduction which helps to focus the point of the content on the web page. It’s allowed us to firm up our content standards. A paragraph should be around 20 words because this works better on mobile.
Even though this is part of writing for the web/writing for mobile, a lot of our changes are just about good writing generally.
So, how did we do it?
By magic of course! Well actually, a whole lot of design, technical and word wizardry.
We worked closely with colleagues in our IT Service (NUIT) as well as those in schools, faculties and central services.
We developed a brand new suite of training for our web editors. This covers editing in the new system, writing for the web, defining site objectives and using media (images and videos). We also introduced various tools to help you evaluate and improve content.
Find out what our web editors thought of the Go Mobile process.
There are exciting times ahead. We’re turning attention to Phase 2. This is where we take the rest of the external website through Go Mobile. We’re planning to do this between January and December 2016.
It’s going to mean a lot of change for the team:
- Agile ways of working
- focused, time-bound project cycles to get through all the sites
- extra staff
- new office space
It’s going to mean a lot of commitment from our faculties and services. We need staff dedicated to developing their websites working with us and giving time for training on writing best practice and the new content management system.
We’d love to hear your comments on what we’re doing. Either comment here or use our feedback form.