Web Community Event: Putting the User First

Yesterday (15 October) the Web Team ran an event for the Web Community @ Bradford; the first of many events to run through this coming year.  The event was for anyone involved in the University’s web presence, at any level, and we were thrilled that so many colleagues took the time out of their busy schedules to come along.  We wanted the event to be useful and engaging and so shared some objectives at the start to give us a focus for the day:

  • A chance to learn, share, network and socialise with staff from across the University involved in our online presence at all levels
  • To enable the Web Community at Bradford to gain confidence and new skills to aid in the maintenance and development of their websites
  • To explore and understand who our website users are so that we can create user-focussed and friendly website content at all times
  • To share best practice and ideas across the Web Community at Bradford
  • To meet new people and make new connections
Some of the Web Community at Bradford

Some of the Web Community@Bradford

The overarching theme of the event was Putting the User first and this was a theme that we all touched on throughout our sessions.

We started off by showing off a bit (!) and shared some of the Web Team’s recent projects including the new external home page, the DHEZ and Science Festival Fringe websites, the New Students website, and our course search tool.  We also had a ‘show and tell’ from Stephen and Ambreen who talked us through their developments on the Faculty of Health Studies site and the Faculty of Life Sciences site.

To get everyone thinking about their users I ran a session on Personas (what are they and how to do one) and then Katie followed on reminding everyone how to make their content awesome! Everyone got stuck in and created a persona and drafted some content for their chosen website.  Feedback from this section was great and it sounds like everyone would welcome a longer session on personas, so we shall look at scheduling that in.

Group work to create a persona.

Creating a persona.

Paddy took us on a whistle-stop tour of our web analytics and SiteImprove and managed to not blind us with science and graphs along the way.  This session highlighted how important it is to look at the story behind the stats and not just the numbers as its not always immediately obvious what is going on when you first crunch the figures.  Our stats from Clearing showed that visitor numbers to the site were down – however, closer inspection showed that users were spending longer on pages and so were more engaged with our content, and therefore our courses – low numbers aren’t necessarily a bad thing if they are the right users and they are engaged. We’re looking to do a more in-depth session on stats and SiteImprove in the near future, so watch this space.

Anna gave everyone some top tips to make their life, and that of the Web Team, a bit easier and reminded colleagues of our ‘logging a job’ procedures.

We then closed the formal event by inviting everyone to tell us what they would like more of.  A quick summing up looks something like this:

  • More Web Community events (no probs!)
  • A session on analytics and stats (for sure!)
  • Persona workshops (that can be arranged!)

So we’ve lots to plan and schedule in over the coming months.

Katie has added a link to our full Sway presentation from her post and we have also invited the Web Community to join us in an online Slack community.

A massive thank you to everyone that came along and joined in with us.  It was great to see so many people and the feedback we have had so far has been really positive.  If you have any further comments or suggestions for future sessions do get in touch.  Email us at: web-team@bradford.ac.uk

More news to follow soon about future events.

Post it note with some writing on it.

We’re awesome!

Paddy slumped over a tab;e!

We were a bit tired after the event!


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