They say change is inevitable, and we’ve seen our fair share of it in the web team over the past couple of years. We are now a new team, with a new structure, in the process of settling into a new home to carry forward a new vision.
In the past, the web was a completely devolved affair with individuals and teams popping up all over the university. While this was a boon for individual schools and colleges at the time, it led to a dilution of the University’s branding, duplicate work and functionality, a proliferation of pages, and no unified view of where we need to go or the governance needed to get us there . With the establishment of the new Marketing department and the transfer of the mandate for the web to it, the desire was born to bring together the web employees of the entire University. Thus was born the new web team made up of people previously from central IT, Colleges, Schools and Admissions. This blend of talent and experience has already proved invaluable and will continue to do so.
In the past it was normal for the « web person » to be responsible for everything. Whether it was content, design, or code, it would find its way into their inbox for action. However, times change and each area has its own industry surrounding it. While we will still need generalists, we need experts in these areas who can delve into the latest best practices and begin incorporating them into our own practices.
To cope with these changing times, we’ve restructured the team to focus on five key areas for the web: design, development, content, user experience, and support.
Each of these specializations will be led by key people who will have responsibility for those in their area and will work with me to decide how to take each of these distinct areas forward. By training disciplines, our vision is to enable those in these areas to not only focus, but also delve into the latest best practice and develop the specialist skills we need to achieve our goals.
During the summer the web team will meet for the first time since their formation when we take up residence in our new offices located in the Tower. While we have already worked closely together as a team, we look forward to working side-by-side on projects and the inevitable organic conversations and ideas that such an atmosphere can generate. If you pass by rooms G1/G2 from July onwards, drop by and say hello!
Our vision for the future is to deliver great experiences that enable people to get the information they need as quickly as possible. To get there, we have a lot of work to do to understand who our users are, what they’re looking for, and what they respond to best. We will be engaging with a broad range of stakeholders over the coming months to launch a massive corporate site cleanup operation. As we progress, we will collect requirements, ideas and suggestions which will then feed into an overall web strategy for the future.
While there is a lot of hard work ahead of us, it’s great to see the progress we’ve already made in such a short time and it’s exciting to think about what lies ahead.