We’ve Gone Mobile

We’ve come to the end of our long running and very successful University-wide change Programme, Go Mobile.

Over the duration of the programme, we created a total of 138 websites in the T4 content management system. We trained countless numbers of new editors in planning and writing web content, using video and imagery and technical skills in T4. We deleted literally thousands of pages of content that were old or redundant. Each site is now smaller, easier to manage and better focused on providing answers to its users.

I’m sure you can imagine that reaching this milestone has been cause for much celebration.


Celebrating success

The next task for the project team is to calculate all the figures and benchmark the improvements. We’ll use this to produce a report which outlines the scale and nature of the benefits achieved by the programme.

The Go Mobile programme has been a very complex and multi-layered project to work on which has made it a great challenge for all of us. We’ve been using Agile project management methodology to make sure we stay on track and deliver a new batch of sites every five weeks. This has been a new way of working and has been a big part of our success. The model allows people to collaborate closely but also to respond quickly to changes and anticipate problems early.

The programme finished on Friday 10 March 2017, bang on schedule, with the last batch of sites going live. It’s fair to say that we’re all shattered but delighted to have reached such a significant milestone and to have achieved everything we set out to.

On the blog over the next couple of months, we’ll be highlighting some areas where we’ve made improvements to the University’s web presence, including:

  • content design
  • information architecture
  • readability
  • responsive design

We’ll use examples from across the sites to demonstrate what has changed. We’ll also look at how we’ve worked with our community of web editors to develop their skills and understanding of web publishing.

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Our Most Popular Posts of 2016

We’ve published another year’s worth of blog content and now is my chance to take a look back and see how far we’ve come since this blog was just an idea in my head.

In 2016 we nearly doubled our editorial team. For me, that meant fresh ideas for posts, and new approaches and styles of writing. As a result, I think we’ve increased the variety of content we’ve produced during the past year.

Top five of 2016

  1. Go Mobile Web Editor Community Event (guest post by Anna Jenner)
  2. Breaking Bad When It Comes to Links
  3. Team Update: 14 – 24 March
  4. Tips for Surviving Go Mobile (guest post by Kate Austin)
  5. Team update: 29 March – 8 April

We had two guest posts on the blog this year, and they both made it in to the top five.

That’s a clear sign that you’re looking to hear from other editors about their experiences. That’s something that’s supported by the positive response we’ve had to our web editor community events.

To build on this, my goal for the blog for 2017 is to get more guest posts on the blog – so if you’ve got an idea, get in touch.

I’m interested to see a couple of our team updates in the list. I took a look to see if I could spot what managed to hook people’s interest for those two weeks in March.

The first introduced our new members of staff; Andrew, Emily and Fen. The latter covered the launch of the new Careers website.

Popular evergreen content

Not all of our popular posts in 2016 were written the same year. In fact, the top performing post on the blog during 2016 was written the year before.

It’s popular because it remains relevant to all our editors and presents practical tips for using Siteimprove to find content and assets on your website.

My favourite post

There were quite a few contenders for my favourite among the 62 posts we wrote last year. High up the list was one from Fen on the use of bold, but I figured I couldn’t just give it to her for the Star Trek reference.

Instead, I’ve chosen a post on another topic that’s close to my heart – clarity. In Making Research Readable for All, Andrew looks at why using Plain English and producing scannable content are the key to communicating your message.

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Go Mobile Batch Six Update

In batch six of the Go Mobile programme we published five sites. They are:

If you’re using T4 to manage your website, and have links to these sites, you can now add them as section links. See Anne’s post for an easy way to use Siteimprove to find which sites you’re linking to.

During this batch we also began pre-migration work on nine clinical research facility sites.

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Team Update: 26 September – 7 October

Campus has been really busy over the past few weeks, and our office has been no exception. We’ve been working hard to get our sites for Batch 5 finished and ready to go.

Go Mobile programme

Fen and Jane have been working on the websites for Conferences and Catering. They met with the hospitality team last week to talk through the new structure and identify where photography is required.

Fen also proofed the Biomedical Sciences website.

Emily has been busy doing the editorial work for Computing Sciences, and putting the final touches to Biomedical Sciences. She’s also proofed the Education, Communication and Language Science site.

Emma C has been working on the Events website.

Lisa has been busy doing the editorial work for GURU, and has proofed the Events website.

Steve built a brand new site for the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI), which was proofed by Linda.

We’ve launched eight new websites this afternoon:

Campaigns and other developments

Lisa has been supporting the School of History, Classics and Archaeology with some structural and  content developments on their site.

Fen has been helping the Marketing Team to update the social media listings on the Website Information and Feedback website.

Training and support

Lisa shared a quick guide to embedding videos on T4.

Anne ran a bespoke T4 session for the new Postgraduate Study website editors.

Emma C delivered media management training.

We’ve received 40 support requests through the NU Service Helpdesk and have resolved 26 of them.

Plans for the next few weeks

Next week, we’ll be starting on Batch 6 and celebrating the halfway point of the Go Mobile programme!

We’ve organised a team meeting to discuss strategy for calls to action.

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Team update: 29 August – 9 September

After holidays over the summer – the team is gradually getting back up to speed.

Go Mobile programme

The whole team was busy getting the latest five sites ready to go live on 2 September. Batch 4 saw the following sites go live:

We’re also doing some follow up work –  using Siteimprove and Clarity Grader to see how sites have improved.

Lisa’s been writing handover notes for the editor of the History, Classics and Archaeology site. She’s also reviewd the GURU audit and tagged up the site in the pre-migration template.

Emily’s been on annual leave for a week, and after that has been working on the pre-migration tagging for Biomedical Sciences. She’s also finished up the Modern Languages audit and benchmarking.

Andrew proofed the School of History, Classics and Archaeology site. He’s doing final checks on the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies ahead of its launch today.

Andrew’s also working on pre-migration of the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. He’s reworking the Travelling to Newcastle page in About.

Emma C has completed an audit of ten clinical research facility sites.

Design and Technical developments

Emma C has been working with the tech team and planning developments needed to bring the University Events website into T4.

Campaigns and other developments

Lisa has been scheduling and updating seasonal messaging for the University’s homepage.

Training and support

Linda and Jane are preparing for a Planning and Writing session scheduled for next week.

Anne and Emma C have been tailoring our Go Mobile training in preparation for remote training of the web editors in Singapore.

We’ve received 30 support requests through the NU Service Helpdesk and have resolved 15 of them.

Plans for the next few weeks

The team are working on Batch 5 of the Go Mobile programme. There are seven sites under development which are due for completion on 7 October.

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