Staff profiles are one of the most debated features we’ve tackled on the new University website. We know that with nearly 3,800 staff members, we’ll have nearly as many opinions on what they should and shouldn’t include and how they should look. It was important to hear as many of these opinions as possible, which is why we spent nearly a year gathering information, developing prototypes, and seeking feedback from a variety of people.
The new people profiles are a big leap forward for the new site. They are one of the building blocks around which we will be building a lot of our content moving forward in order to place our world-class people at the center of the site.
One profile for everyone!
One of the more interesting feedback we received from a variety of different people was how people associated profiles with the value the University places on them. Governance between schools and directorates varied hugely here with some areas showcasing all of their staff, while others reserving them for more senior positions. Many staff members said this made them feel undervalued for their contribution to the University.
We are therefore giving everyone the opportunity to have a profile on the site to allow them to show the work they do.
Consistent and correct information
High quality and correct information is a key factor for the new site and where possible we are looking to reduce duplication of information and rely more on extracting information from primary data sources. We find many profiles that are duplicates of others as well as many for people who no longer have work for the university.
We are therefore moving towards automatic creation of profiles based on central HR data, so that they are automatically created and removed when someone enters or leaves the University. Where possible, we will encourage individuals to ensure that their information is correct at the source.
Our people are involved in a diverse range of jobs which we currently seek to represent primarily through text. This often fails to do it justice. Many, especially those in the visual disciplines, don’t have the ability to include images or videos in their profiles.
So we’re adding features to allow people to add images in different formats to help them describe the work they’re involved in.
There’s one awesome feature you’ll probably never see or realize! This allows us to describe our content to search engines so they can better determine what type of content we are producing and deliver it to their users in more useful formats. This should lead to better quality results in search engines and therefore more traffic to our profiles.