The CAHSS Web Team is now the Digital Innovation Team

It is official – the Web Team is now the Digital Innovation Team.

Firstly, colleagues from the Digital Scholarship Team have joined our office – so a big welcome to Helen Bradley and Emma Cockburn who are the Digital Scholarship Assistants.

More information about their work in the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences can be found on the Digital Scholarship website.

I think we can justify why “digital” rather than “web” easily.  For the past few years, we have refined our process of designing for mobiles and tablets as well as desktops. Services provided by the team include multimedia design, digital publications and infographics, intranet applications, online chat, social media and email marketing. Quite a diverse remit for a relatively small team.

Now, how about “innovation”?  I agree that this is an ambitious title. It is also aspirational. Not every single aspect of our work is necessary innovative, and we are not setting ourselves apart from other digital teams claiming that our processes or products are somehow more cutting-edge. This would be a tall order. We do however get the opportunity of working on a very diverse set of projects across the College and the opportunity to grow and develop our skills.

What is required of us is the understanding of how the latest technologies can support research. By listening to and supporting our academic colleagues in CAHSS we are hoping to collectively find (and share) novel approaches and novel solutions. Funding bodies such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council place a high value in innovation:

We will also need to be more aware of the interesting work created by Information Services and other digital teams in house and in a wider context.

The next months will see further communications about this change with more details to follow.

The University of Edinburgh Open Knowledge Network #uoeokn – Event 2 (28 April 2017)

# uoeokn 2: a great day to catch up with what colleagues have been working on in this expanding field of ‘open knowledge’.


A morning of lightning talks

First, all morning lightning talks emphasize the natural and ever-present connections between research and teaching, and how they cross-fertilize.

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National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) – Spring Conference

The NADSN Spring Conference was hosted in a nicely renovated and accessible Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation I thought it would be interesting to attend not only from a personal angle but really useful in my role as a line manager.

In the world of web development, we are all very familiar with the concept of web accessibility. Still striving towards it rather than 100% compliant we are at least very aware of the possible issues and barriers and the good practice guides to overcome these. Web accessibility in the context of student or outreach materials has had a lot of publicity over the past 10 years or so (for a good reason of course).

Currently, UoE is also investing a lot of money to get rid of the physical barriers, adapting the old buildings particularly as part of improving the student experience.

There is a bit of a contrast though in a way the HE addresses issues of disabled staff. Stephanie Millar, Senior Policy Advisor, Equality Challenge Unit in her very informative keynote quoted that only 3.3% of the University Staff disclose a disability. This can be compared with around 18% of the interviewed general public.

The reasons for this huge discrepancy may be many. Fewer disabled staff being employed in HE but also much fewer wishing to disclose their condition for the still very much alive fear of stigma.

Generally speaking, everyone wants to be seen as a fully productive and able member of staff rather than a “problem”.

The non-disclosure is one of the reasons why it may be easy for the institutions to ignore the issues. Departmental culture plays a very significant role in the treatment and policies around the disability of staff. This created many inequalities how for example special adjustments or disability leave is treated. It is through networks such as the NADSN that the slow change in attitudes is beginning to emerge.

Thank you to the brave speakers who are coming with the personal stories as well as the knowledge of the field.



EdGEL…what EdGEL?

Jokes. Well, half jokes.

Last week, the CAHSS web team attended a hands-on co-creation workshop on how to improve the EdGEL website, with a long game of increasing awareness and implementation of the GEL and standardising our digital output using best practice and GEL standards.

So, EdGEL.

For the uninitiated, EdGEL is Edinburgh University’s Global Experience Language: a set of digital design and development standards, built to ensure that anyone who uses any of our digital services has a consistent experience. An unbelievable amount of work has gone into creating the GEL but it has not been widely adopted. This workshop was part of a plan to redress the balance.

Discover EdGEL as it currently stands
Some of the University of Edinburgh’s finest minds in digital led the workshop, otherwise busy with content editors, designers, developers, project managers and project sponsors (forgive me if I have excluded anyone from the list!). Everyone at the workshop was keen to make a success of the GEL (this is actually the most crucial element of adoption in my view – the desire to implement).

Our tasks in the workshop were to define
• What is the EdGEL website for?
• What content should it have?
• Design a front page of the website as a screen design (including navigation and content)

And to try to answer some key questions
• How can the website facilitate adoption?
• How can the website support adoption?
• What content should the website have?
• Should the website become a destination experience?

After lively and intelligent debate, across a spectrum of skillsets, we presented our ideas informally for consideration.

It is this type of engagement, that will keep EdGEL alive and it is our responsibility to use it to inform our design and development, whilst EdGEL’s new site is being developed. We look forward to a new-look, updated site, which supports our aims of creating usable, accessible digital output that reflects our needs as digital support staff.

In the meantime, asset creation, guideline consideration and examples of the flexibility of EdGEL principles in situ are being curated: watch this space!

Add a new page to your Intranet site

Let’s see how to add a new page to your Intranet site, when you have the right permission level.

We take the Intranet site of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) as an example.

Go to the Intranet site in which you want to add a new page

Watch out for sites and sub-sites. Check the Intranet site URL and see which level you are at.

For example, the College’s Intranet site is at . The ECA’s Intranet site is at . Like all other CAHSS school’s Intranet sites, it is a subsite of the CAHSS top-level site.

Similarly, you will have many sub-sites locally, and sub-sites of sub-sites.

Add a new page to your Intranet site, in four steps

The sequence of screen capture images below will take you along the process to add a new page to your Intranet page.

TIP: If you click on one of the images, you will see a full size version of the image. Press the back button in your browser to come back to where you were.

1 – Start from your Intranet site’s homepage

Once you’re on the homepage of the Intranet site in which you want to create a new page, click on the ‘Page’ tab in the top left corner.

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Listen to our 10 most popular 2016 sound-tracks

For the first time, in 2016, the SoundCloud account for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh attracted just under 100 likes, and over 3,000 plays.

A wealth of resources

Our SoundCloud account hosts a wealth of resources. With over 200 sound tracks, this is as many opportunities to enrich your content with digital scholarship, for instance for learning and teaching.

New 2016 voices in this top 10

Three new voices made it up to the top 10 most popular tracks for the whole 2016:

  • Maddie Long, a PhD student in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. Maddie talks about her experience preparing for the 3-Minute-Thesis competition. Congratulations to Maddie who won the 2016 UK final of the 3-Minute-Thesis competition (12 September 2016).
  • Vladimir Alpatov, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, speaks on historical attempts to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin one.
  • Kenny Beaton discusses the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches website. Kenny focuses in particular on tracks Calum Maclean collected himself. He also picks a couple where Calum is also the contributor rather than his usual role of being the collector.

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10 sound-tracks to enjoy our digital scholarship

Sound-tracks available online also contribute to digital scholarship. Indeed they help with scholarly communication and impact.

Find out about Digital Scholarship activities at the University of Edinburgh

The web team for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences also provides support for colleagues throughout the College and its 12 schools with uploading sound-tracks to SoundCloud audio platform.

Find out about the web team for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

In the six months from January to June 2016, our SoundCloud account has attracted increasing attention. Sound-tracks reflect the diversity of topics colleagues and their guests have contributed. They have prompted over 1,500 plays and 50 likes.

In just ten sound-tracks, you can get a little idea of the research going on in arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Edinburgh. All the links below point at sound-tracks on the SoundCloud account of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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UX Scotland Conference 2016 – Report

I attended the UX Scotland Conference 2016 with a view to discovering the latest trends and thinking in the constant evolution of design interfaces.

The best aspect of the conference was the overall theme of practical and applicable solutions to improve our user experience. Indeed, most of the sessions during the second day provided not only a lot of food for thought and inspiration but also some immediately actionable tips.

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New staff profiles content type launched!

One of the recent addition to the main University website content management system (EdWeb) is a new content type – staff profile. The CAHSS Web team has worked on this in close collaboration with Information Services .

Staff profle imageHow did the new staff profile come to the world?

Around the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and beyond, throughout the University, each and every School had a slightly different way of presenting staff profiles Often, staff profiles used different systems depending on the University unit. The key goal was to standardise this but in a way that allowed flexibility and variation.

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Discover the ECA Advent Calendar 2015

Rejoice! The ECA Advent Calendar 2015 takes up where the 2014 calendar left things.

Discover the ECA Advent Calendar 2015

This year’s calendar includes offerings from students at Edinburgh College of Art, in varied programmes such as Animation, Music, Film & TV, and Textiles.

Like in 2014, there is a wide variety of content, and lots of humour and talent on display.

ECA Advent Calendar 2015 screenshot

Did you miss the ECA Advent Calendar 2014?

The ECA Advent is still live and gives you the opportunity to sample the creativity of past ECA students.

Discover the ECA Advent Calendar 2014