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Regular updates on progress with the Web Development Project will be posted to this page.

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2019
July 2019
May - June 2019

The new site is now close to being launch-ready.

  • Most areas of the site have been built and are with Champions and Editors for review, or are in the final stages of internal quality-checking by the web team.

  • Final technical developments and bug fixes are taking place in partnership with our agency.

  • All staff will have the opportunity to create their staff profile over the summer and many staff attended sessions with a professional photographer in May. More information will be made available over the coming months.

  • We are aiming to finalise all page content on the site by the end of the financial year, (end of July), but given how stratgically important Clearing and Adjustment is to St George's, it is critical that our prosepctive students have a consistent and stable user experience between now (late June) and early September to support their application process and decision-making. We have therefore decided to take our new site live by 30th September, incidentally to coincide with the start of the new academic year.

  • All staff will need to ensure that their content on the current public website is up to date for the summer, using the usual process and channels to do so.

Dec 2018 - April 2019
  • During this phase, the main focus of the project was to complete the technical development phase and gather all the remaining source content from editing teams as far as possible.

  • The content development phase was kicked off in earnest.

  • An expanded team was put in place to support the final stages of the build.

  • Editing teams began to receive access to their areas of the new site for review and sign-off.

  • Supplementary photoshoots were arranged to help produce high-quality images for the site.

2018
October 2018 - November 2018
  • The web development project remains a high profile and strategically important project for St George’s and has been moving forward at pace.

  • However, the project delivery timeline has been interrupted recently by some unexpected technical issues which the project team is now focused on resolving.

  • As a result, the new site will not be ready to launch in November as originally hoped. We will confirm the new timeline for launch as soon as possible.

  • The web development team remains committed to delivering a world-leading digital presence for St George's, a large part of which will be the content that our editing teams have been working on since the summer.

  • As a result of high enthusiasm for and engagement with the workshops run since June, the quality of content already delivered is high.

  • The project team is grateful for the continued effort and commitment to producing the high quality content from those who are still working on it. Please do continue this work despite the technical delay so we are ready to populate the new site as soon as it is ready.

July 2018 - Sept 2018
  • Around fifty individual content development workshops have been run with different editing teams across the university.

  • Most teams have completed their content planning with some teams having already delivered their complete set of draft content. 

  • It is felt there is a strong understanding of the requirement and process.

May 2018 - June 2018
  • View the signed-off designs:

  • Technical build has begun, on track to complete in July.

  • Web Champions across the university have engaged with the content development kick-off meetings, and many content planning workshops for editors and champions have already been held. The focus has been defining the needs of audiences for different sections of the website, to inform considerations about the description of activities, imagery and other content required.

  • Training is being planned for all web editors, and will include face-to-face training for "super-users", detailed user guides and range of digital and interactive options that will support the teams in content creation and maintenance.

March 2018 - May 2018
  • The design phase of the project has been completed and wireframes and visual designs are agreed.

  • Technical scoping is underway, with technical build on track to to complete in July.

  • University-wide content development via devolved publishing is beginning, starting with an initial meeting for staff who have been identified as "Champions" for a section of the new website. This meeting will explain the top-level process and activities needed between now and September.

  • More detailed workshops for content editors, which will help plan out the specific content requirements and project timeframes for each team across the university, will be held throughout June and July to assist teams with their planning and content development.

December 2017- February 2018
  • The project continues to gather pace with the appointment of the agency partner who will deliver the technology that supports our new website.

  • After a rigorous selection process, Zengenti, a technology company based in Ludlow, Shropshire, were confirmed as the best fit in December.

  • Zengenti holds significant expertise in the HE sector, having run similar digital projects for King’s, LSE, Nottingham, Solent, Brighton and St Mary’s.

  • The Zengenti team includes design, content and technical specialists, and the company have developed and manage their own proprietary content management system – “Contensis” – an intuitive system which can be easily customised and will be used for the new St George’s site.

  • The Zengenti bid was the most competitively-priced tender out of those who were shortlisted.

Next steps
  • Alongside the work with Zengenti to develop the technical infrastructure and design of the new website, in the next phase of the project an important focus will be content development.

  • Staff across all areas of St George’s will be involved. 

  • The central project team are currently planning activities to define the site’s information architecture, and refining the processes for producing and managing content.

The new website is set to go live towards the end of 2018. The project plan is being finalised and further information about content development work and the timeframe for launch will be available in the coming months.

2017
May-November 2017
  • The first phase of the project, which has focused on audience research, is drawing to a close. The research has included surveys of all our key audience groups, in-depth interviews, focus groups (including staff and both prospective and current students), analysis of the recent behaviour of visitors to our existing site, analysis of some of our key competitors, and a review of the content on the external site and the Portal.

  • Deliverables from Phase 1 of the project include:

    • an in-depth research report, drawing together conclusions and recommendations from all of the recent research activity. Read the report (PDF).
    • a competitor analysis report
    • recommendations for a content development strategy
    • input into the specification for a new content management system underpinning the new website.
  • Some of the key research findings have already been shared at the well-attended “Meet the Principal” event held on Friday 13 October, and the presentation from this session is available below. A plan to widely share more of the outputs of the research phase at appropriate points along the project trajectory is being developed.

  •  A draft information architecture has been created, based on the research, and has been recently been user-tested with students and staff.

  • The procurement for our new technology partner is underway. As part of this, we will obtain a new content management system. We anticipate that the new system will provide more design flexibility and greater opportunity for local control of content than our current system. 

Key decisions

Key decisions made by the Web Development Project Steering Group are:

  • The final site will be a single site, combining the current Portal and the external website.

  • As much content as possible will be available to all, with password-protection of content or sections implemented only where strictly necessary.

  • The preferred publishing approach for the future management is devolved publishing. This will involve greater opportunities for departments to have more control over how their team and projects are presented. 

Presentation of project progress

A 'Meet the Principal' event was held on 13 October to update members of staff on the first phase of the Web Development Project.

See the presentation slides (PDF)

 

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