Digital Marketing & Communications

We've seen 1s and 0s you wouldn't believe

Digital roadmap update for September 2015

📥  Roadmap

Version 13 of our Digital Roadmap looks ahead to September and has been approved by the Digital Steering Group.

Progress made in August 2015

  • Developed new publishing and design features for the new bath.ac.uk (see fortnightly sprint notes for more details), principally content types and their corresponding templates.
  • Reviewed content audits conducted by departments and organised the sequence by which departments will transition their content to the new platform.
  • Produced next iteration of research content strategy using feedback from stakeholders.
  • Completed discovery research for proposed Worldwide section.
  • Designed new search results interface using Beta design patterns.

Priorities planned for September 2015

  • Launch Beta CMS and continue development of the new publishing features.
  • Support publishers in uploading and creating new content in the CMS.
  • Upgrade deployment tools.
  • Convene the cross-departmental group to provide editorial coordination of student recruitment content.
  • Create a register of official social media accounts, their managers and their purpose.
  • Go live with our 50th Anniversary site.

Next update

University staff and students can find the detailed version of the Digital Roadmap on the wiki.

The next version of the Digital Roadmap will be Version 14 and is scheduled for release w/c 28 September.

 

Publishers, prepare for launch

📥  Beta, CMS

On 2 September our new content management system will go live and department web publishers will be able to start using it to upload content. Which is very exciting.

Because of the large volume of content that is being transitioned, we will be moving departments across in groups (between now and December) so that the Digital team can be on hand to provide support.

People discussing design mock-ups

Digital will support departments as they move their content

A new CMS for a new site

The new CMS is very easy to use and will support the new University website. While your department is getting its content ready in the CMS, you will be able to see the work in progress at beta.bath.ac.uk.

Once your department is happy with its content, a date will be agreed to 'switch-over’ to the new site, which is the point that you’ll no longer be able to visit the old version.

The CMS will go live with the essential features that publishers will need to use to get their information online. We'll be adding new features over the coming weeks and publishing a prioritised feature list online so that you can see what is coming next. And, of course, you’ll be able to put forward suggestions for new features and improvements to existing ones.

Ready, steady

While you are waiting to transition your content you can:

  1. keep refining the user needs for your content
  2. practice with the content types in the training version of the CMS
  3. show off the new CMS and site designs to colleagues in your department.

There will be a 'transition checklist' provided to each lead publisher in the weeks ahead of each department's transition to help coordinate everyone's activity.

If you haven't been involved in the project to date and you want to know when your content is moving across, the best thing to do is contact the person who heads up your communications activity in your department. If you aren't sure who that person is, contact us via web-support@bath.ac.uk

 

Digital team sprint notes, 4 - 17 August 2015

📥  Sprint notes

What we did

  • Prepared and published content to support adjustment and clearing activity. Charlotte also volunteered to answer calls from prospective students.
  • Prepared and published content to support the September Open Day.
  • Prepared and published content to support first year student induction.
  • Followed up with Lead Publishers to ensure that we have agreement on the transition plan.
  • Created Announcements, Campaigns and Location content types in the CMS.
  • Enabled attachments on the Publication content type.
  • Designed Group landing pages, Locations, and Service start page templates.
  • Applied a label to the CMS and the site to make it clear they are in Beta.
  • Created example user needs for each content type that publishers can use as a guide to follow.
  • Supported the redesign and deployment of a new form for students to request counseling services.
  • Received 127 tickets in technical support and resolved 106.
  • Received 6 new requests for content maintenance and completed 4 tasks.

What we will do (18 - 28 August 2015)

  • Review and verify more audits, with a focus on those in our second group of transitioning departments.
  • Create a plan for departments in Transition Group 2.
  • Create the first version of style guidance for each content type.
  • Produce a ‘switch-over’ checklist for Lead Publishers to coordinate their efforts in departments.
  • Organise a final round of training for those unable to attend previous sessions.
  • Implement output templates for Announcements, Campaigns, Locations, Projects, Publications and Service start pages.
  • Bring consistency to entry fields for contact details across content types.
  • Design the Beta homepage and search results page.
  • Establish our primary and secondary navigation model.
  • Establish controlled vocabulary of topics to be used to classify content items.
  • Run load testing and establish back-up and restore procedures for Beta applications.
  • Present v13 of the Digital Roadmap for approval by the Digital Steering Group.

If you want to know more about any of the work outlined in these sprint notes, email web-support@bath.ac.uk

 

We can make it - why we are developing a publishing platform from scratch

📥  Beta, Team

I was recently asked by a Product Manager why the Bath Digital team was building a CMS in-house seeing as it "isn’t central to what a university does". A similar point came up at the IWMW15 conference:

It's a good question and there’s a chance that others might be interested in our thinking, so here’s how I explain it.
(more…)

Digital team sprint notes, 21 July - 3 August 2015

📥  Sprint notes

What we did

  • Contacted everyone who is leading their department’s work on the new website explaining how we will ensure everyone transitions in an orderly and supported fashion.
  • Reviewed and verified audits, with a focus on those in our first group of transitioning departments.
  • Enabled publishers to create Case studies, Corporate information, Guides, Projects and Publications.
  • Designed Organisation landing pages and Collections.
  • Ran user testing of our events content type and of formatting in the new CMS.
  • Received 99 tickets in technical support and resolved 89.
  • Received 6 new requests for content maintenance and completed 13 tasks.
  • Attended, represented and presented at IWMW15.

What we will do (4 - 17 August 2015)

  • Prepare and publish content to support adjustment and clearing activity.
  • Prepare and publish content to support the September Open Day.
  • Prepare and publish content to support first year student induction.
  • Follow up with Lead Publishers to ensure that we have consensus on the transition plan.
  • Review and verify audits, with a focus on those in our second group of transitioning departments.
  • Enable publishers to create Announcements, Campaigns and Location profiles.
  • Design Group landing pages, Location profiles, search results and Service start pages.
  • Establish our primary and secondary navigation model.
  • Create example user needs for each content type that publishers can use as a guide to follow.

If you want to know more about any of work listed on these sprint notes, email web-support@bath.ac.uk

 

Digital roadmap update for August 2015

📥  Roadmap

Version 12 of our Digital roadmap has been approved by the Digital Steering Group, and looks ahead to August and beyond.

Progress made in July 2015

  • Developed new publishing and design features for the new bath.ac.uk (see fortnightly sprint notes for more details), principally content types and their corresponding templates.
  • Reviewed content audits conducted by departments and organised the sequence by which departments will transition to the new platform.
  • Provided training in content production using agile delivery methods.
  • Upgraded GroupManager, the app that simplifies the management and creation of groups.
  • Updated several databases to Oracle 12.
  • Provided separate staging and production environments for go.bath.ac.uk short URL service.

Priorities planned for August 2015

  • Continue development of the new publishing platform ahead of shipping in early September.
  • Support publishers in uploading and creating new content in the Beta publishing app.
  • Continue integration of Eventbrite into event listings to provide booking management and manage the administration of multiple event organisers.
  • Apply our new visual identity and patterns to site search interfaces.
  • Set up a cross-departmental group to provide editorial coordination of student recruitment content.
  • Supporting the development of an application to enable coordination and triage of events across all university departments.

Format improvements

As trailed in the previous roadmap update, we are beginning to roll out some improvements to its format so that it is easier to understand what is planned, for when and in what priority order.

In the August roadmap, we have:

  • Added a contents page,
  • Included an introduction,
  • Improved the layout and readability of tables.

Further improvements will follow and we'd welcome your suggestions.

Next update

University staff and students can find the detailed version of the Digital roadmap on the wiki.

The next version of the Digital roadmap will be Version 13 and is scheduled for release w/c 27 August.

 

Improving support for lead publishers during transition

📥  Beta, CMS, Communication

Transitioning our content to the new CMS is a lot of work. The early part of the transition in particular involves lead publishers of departments and services across the University reviewing their content, deciding whether to transition it or not, assigning it a content type (like Guide or Project) and giving it an action (like major edit or delete).

With more than 40 Lead Publishers auditing hundreds of inventories, the content team gets a lot of questions.

Pressure on editors

Up until recently, these questions were sent directly to the three Web Editors in the team who are assigned to Lead Publishers as their single point of contact. Individual Editors were the only ones who could see the questions and the only ones who could respond. This threw up a number of issues for all involved:

  • as a team we couldn’t estimate for delivering support in our sprint planning
  • the work wasn’t being captured in any of our boards or planning
  • the increased workloads impacted on the Web Editors’ ability to deliver other sprint work
  • sometimes Lead Publishers weren’t receiving a response for a number of days, which meant that some of them were unable to progress their work.

Our new process

In true agile fashion, we have pivoted and iterated our support process.

Now, our Lead Publishers email all questions to a dedicated email address that the entire content team has access to.

Each morning one of the Web Editors checks the inbox and triages the queries. They then add the questions to a dedicated Trello board, give each a category, evaluate its complexity with points and assign it to one of the team members, with the aim of the Lead Publisher getting a response within a day.

Bringing support into the fold

This is the second sprint in which we have been using the new support process. During that time we have received more than 60 emails to our shared address. This has translated into 35 tasks completed and recorded on our support board.

Being able to record our workload more accurately has been reflected in our sprint velocity and helped in scheduling other sprint work.

This is important as dealing with stakeholder queries is an integral part of our work, one that requires sufficient time and attention and had previously not been accounted for by our scheduling processes.

Sharing the workload

The new process has taken the burden of support work off the shoulders of our Web Editors and allowed other members of the content team to step in.

Work has been spread across the team more evenly, freeing up the Web Editors to progress more of their allocated sprint work, while giving the rest of the team a greater role in support and stakeholder engagement.

Supporting our publishers

Sharing our support process has also resulted in a better experience for our Lead Publishers. If a member of our team has an especially high workload or is out of the office, it no longer impacts on how long it takes for questions to get a response. We can now consistently provide faster support, and that makes the Beta transition process faster and better for everyone involved.

 

Digital team sprint notes, 7 July - 20 July 2015

📥  Sprint notes

What we did

  • Moved office to Level 4 of Wessex House.
  • Wrote a plan detailing how we will transition content to the Beta site.
  • Audited /study/ug and /study/pg.
  • Verified audits for consistency and identified any issues that needed to be fixed by the lead publisher.
  • Held the final Audit and User story boot camps.
  • Storyboarded a video to explain the beta.bath.ac.uk project.
  • Created a cheat sheet on how to use markdown formatting in the publishing application.
  • Added the senior leadership team profiles to the production CMS.
  • Updated the model which explains how publishing works in the new CMS.
  • Implemented the first iteration of “Editions” - authors can now see the differences between a draft and published version of a page.
  • Users can now see which department or service owns a specific page.
  • Upgraded Rails to 4.2.3.

What we will do (22 - 3 August 2015)

  • Continue to verify audits for consistency and feedback to lead publishers.
  • Carry out user research with authors on the new Events content type.
  • Iterate on the content creation boot camp training materials.
  • Organise the final content creation boot camps.
  • Develop the remaining content types, including Announcements, Campaigns, Case Studies and Projects.
  • Design the new homepage and Collection content types.
  • Prepare for the next week's IWMW.
  • Continue to support lead publishers by answering their questions.
  • Continue to provide general communications about the release of the new bath.ac.uk.

If you want to know more about any of work listed on these sprint notes, email web-support@bath.ac.uk

 

We're moving office

📥  Communication

The Digital Marketing & Communications team is relocating from 2 South to the 4th floor of Wessex House (WH4.16) on Monday 20 July 2015.

On Monday we'll be setting up our office so it may take us longer than usual to respond to queries. If you have any urgent issues please email web-support@bath.ac.uk.

Digital team sprint notes, 23 June - 6 July 2015

📥  Sprint notes

What we did

  • Created filterable lists of events on the Beta.
  • Enabled the clearing of old editions of content items.
  • Enabled more granular control of roles and org-based access to content.
  • Iterated the colour palette and optimised typography across the Beta.
  • Continued supporting publishers carrying out content audits (over half way through now).
  • Delivered a pilot of training in content creation using agile methods.
  • Continued auditing content managed by Marketing & Communications.
  • Completed audit of overseas-facing content.
  • Supported 2015 summer graduations through online information, videos and photography.
  • Prepared and coordinated production of online materials to support student induction.
  • Deployed a separate production environment for go.bath.ac.uk.
  • Updated the Group Manager application.
  • Reviewed custom location mapping software and think that we’ll give Mapbox a run out.
  • Updated and distributed v11 of the Digital roadmap following approval from the Digital Steering Group.

What we will do (7 - 20 July 2015)

  • Implement the Guide content type.
  • Display owning and associated departments on content items at front end.
  • Add more roles and permissions to support editorial workflow.
  • Review completed audits and provide feedback and guidance to publishers by way of next steps.
  • Continue to deliver training to publishers.
  • Provide a cheatsheet for publishers using Markdown formatting.
  • Begin uploading content to production version of Beta site.
  • Set up channels and processes to improve our response to transition questions from publishers.
  • Upgrade Oracle databases behind the current CMS.
  • Continue providing general communications about the release of the new bath.ac.uk.
  • Develop new counselling request form with Student Services
  • Set up blogs for a number of departmental teams and research centres.
  • Prepare for our office move to Level 4 of Wessex House.

If you want to know more about any of work listed on these sprint notes, email web-support@bath.ac.uk.