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REBOOTING MYED – MAKING THE PORTAL RELEVANT AGAIN

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The University of Edinburgh is currently re-imagining its student and staff portal. Using user surveys and custom analytics we have found out who wants and uses what, and on which devices. Now we are applying that intelligence, creating a new desktop and mobile portal, designed to meet the needs of the 2015 user, and to play a strong connecting role in the whole online student experience.

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REBOOTING MYED – MAKING THE PORTAL RELEVANT AGAIN

  1. 1. Rebooting MyEd Making the Portal Relevant Again Dr Martin Morrey Web Integration Manager University of Edinburgh
  2. 2. With thanks to… • Web Integration Team – Paul Johnson – Alain Forrester • Development Services – Richard Good – Neil Hanlon – Ross Nichol – Gordon McKenna • Projects Services – Maurice Franceschi • Production Management – Stefan Kaempf – Ana Heyn • Senior Management – Simon Marsden – Stuart MacFarlane • Other colleagues – Anne-Marie Scott …and many others
  3. 3. • Once upon a time… • What is a portal, why have we got one? • What do users do in the portal? • What do users want? • Re-inventing the portal • Desktop • Mobile • Reception and Usage • Happily Ever After?
  4. 4. ONCE UPON A TIME…
  5. 5. MyEd U@Ed
  6. 6. MyEd • University of Edinburgh’s web portal • Launched 2004 • Users: students, staff, applicants, alumni • 200 “channels” of content • Up to 80K visits day-1 • Based on uPortal – OS portal framework • Hard to upgrade - projects: – 2006 - 2008 – 2010 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014
  7. 7. U@Ed • Mobile app • iOS and Android • Featuring – Maps – PC availability – “Friend Finder” – Library – Courses (Learn) – Pocket Guide • Commercial solution – Web management console
  8. 8. WHAT IS A PORTAL, WHY HAVE WE GOT ONE?
  9. 9. Gerry McGovern Intranet Masterclass 2008 “For years, I’ve been going around asking people what a portal is, and I still don’t really know. The best definition I’ve come up with is: …except it takes five times longer to develop.” A portal is like a website…
  10. 10. Questions • Does your institution have a “portal”? • Who is it for – Students – Applicants – Staff – Alumni • What does it contain – Links to other services – Live info from other services – Communications – Support material
  11. 11. Why do we have a portal? 1. One place you can go… – …to find everything you need – i.e. Personalised 2. Provide an “User Experience Platform” (UXP) – Integrated and consistent experience – Supporting user’s top tasks (80/20) 3. Be the preferred medium for personalised communications to students. MyEd Objectives…in 20/20 Hindsight:
  12. 12. Maths A list Of links Increasing Personalisation Student Audience – specific Staff Alumni Applic- ant Org units ECA Law PPL 1st Final Year of Study Others Once Place = List of Links?
  13. 13. UX Platform = Portlets?
  14. 14. Personalised Layouts T1 T2 T3 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 Student Layout C1 C3 C6
  15. 15. And…Customisation T1 T2 T3 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 T1 T2 T3 C1 C4 C5 C6C3C7 Default Layout User’s Customised Layout
  16. 16. WHAT DO USERS DO IN THE PORTAL?
  17. 17. We Didn’t Know
  18. 18. • Server-side logging • We could find out: – How many users logged-in – Some idea of roles (student, staff…) – What customisations are made • Wanted something like Google Analytics What we had…
  19. 19. BUT • The default unit of site usage in Google Analytics is…? – …the page • Page Views are little use: – In our portal, pages ≡ tabs • We are most interested in channels – A tab contains multiple channels
  20. 20. Custom Solution: GA Events • Attach “event” to link / button – Records user interactions, with channel name • BUT: Need to code ~200 channels – built with various technologies • SOLUTION: Code events on the client – Cover everything a user sees • “Custom dimensions” record role, org unit… – Attributes made available in page source (<meta> ) – Can also be used to personalise content on the client
  21. 21. Page Rendered
  22. 22. Events Added, +0.1s
  23. 23. Use of Staffmail channel - segmented
  24. 24. WHAT DO USERS WANT?
  25. 25. MyEd Satisfaction: IS Survey 2013
  26. 26. U@Ed Satisfaction: IS Survey 2013
  27. 27. Usage
  28. 28. What was going on? • MyEd – 300,000 visits a week – 30,000 mobile visits a week • U@Ed – 9,000+ downloads from app stores – < 1,000 visits per week • Possible reasons – Fewer compelling features in U@Ed – Generic app inevitably compromised? – Lack of promotion? – Not kept up-to-date (hard to maintain both)
  29. 29. What Users Want We believe what users want is: • One place to go • Works on all devices • See only what is relevant to them • To complete their key tasks quickly and easily
  30. 30. MyEd Task Survey • Asked to choose 5 of 44 possible tasks – Opportunity to suggest “other” tasks • Repeated for desktop and mobile • Results segmented by role – Students (868 submissions) – Academic Staff (70) – Support Staff (181)
  31. 31. Student
  32. 32. GA: Top Channels - Students
  33. 33. REINVENTING THE PORTAL
  34. 34. Our Plan for 2013/14 • Desktop – Make key resources easier to find – Make key content more useful & usable • Fewer, better channels – More consistent-with the UWS • Mobile – Retire U@Ed – Make MyEd mobile-friendly • Mobile web is good-enough – Can be supplemented with specialist apps • inc 3rd party solutions, e.g. Learn Mobile
  35. 35. NEW DESKTOP MYED
  36. 36. #1 Added a List of Links MyEd “Dashboard”: •Links to top tasks •Audience-specific •Persistent •Collapsible
  37. 37. #2 Rationalised Layouts Based on: • User Survey results • Google Analytics • Student suggestions and mock-ups • MyEd User Group and other consultation • Feedback on layout prototypes
  38. 38. Layout Prototype
  39. 39. #3 Refreshed Design University Website MyEd • In-line with University website • Within constraints of uPortal framework
  40. 40. #4 Some New Features • Email preview • Calendar preview • Customise Drawer • “Subscribable” or Packaged tabs
  41. 41. MOBILE MYED
  42. 42. Prioritised Approach • Rolled out in a series of phases • Supporting highest-priority tasks first – Basic support first – Enhancements later, including. • Location-aware channels • More live data – Library, Learn • Phase 1 live in early August 2014 • Soft launch • Ready for freshers week
  43. 43. RECEPTION AND USAGE Desktop Only
  44. 44. Usage 1: Tab Navigation
  45. 45. Usage2: Avg Session Duration
  46. 46. Usage 3: Bounce Rate NB: Pattern consistent across desktop, tablet, mobile access
  47. 47. User Comments Students • “Really like the new links at the side” • “These (links) are all the things I normally use” Staff • “I don’t log in to MyEd very often, but when I did, the link I needed was right there”
  48. 48. HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
  49. 49. Future Plans • More cycles of: – Research – Prioritise – Improve • Make it easier to upgrade – “Continuous Improvement” project in 2014/15 • Responsive framework in 2015 – uPortal “Respondr” theme (Twitter Bootstrap) • Closer integration with UWS in 2015/16 • + Communications… – Notifications system
  50. 50. Moral(s) of the tale… • Don’t try to feed more than one pig (portal) We also learned: • A (targeted) list of links takes you a long way • Students have a lot to contribute • Portals can be a rich source of usage info • You need a UI specialist • To do personalisation within a channel – dynamically on the client – with the right info in the page (meta tags)
  51. 51. Martin.Morrey@ed.ac.uk @martinmorrey Web Integration Manager LTW Division, Information Services, University of Edinburgh + 44 131 651 5233

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