The Elf-abet

And with that awful pun I launch into my last blog post of the year...

I'll start by outlining an addition to our course lists, which are now all alphabetically sorted. For a while now we've made do with these displaying as a long list which, although being dynamically updated from our course database, were pretty static with no anchor points. This is why we undertook a bit of work to make them more accessible and to include a little alphabet picker at the top. Job done and much more user friendly! We're also planning on rolling this out to our other asset lists in the near future.

New staff training opportunities
coming soon!
Other things the team have been working on of late are content updates to our Student Life, Alumni and Partnerships sections and delivering the first of many Writing for the Web training session. The latter is something which will offered to all staff in the new year - meaning that we hope for the quality of writing on our site to improve tenfold. My favourite quote from the first session has to be "This is WRITING for the web, not copying and pasting..."

Yesterday afternoon I attended the unofficial Squiz/Funnelback user group at City University. This was a great opportunity to talk to our equivalents at other universities (and beyond) who work with Matrix on a daily basis.

This is about as classy as
our decorations get
Lots of great ideas were shared and I particularly liked the demo of Trello, a fantastic free project organisation tool. We're already setting it up with the idea that this is now the go to place for all web projects and progress monitoring. We also used the meeting to talk about how we found the upgrade to Matrix version 14.8 which is something we're in the middle of having implemented right now!

In other news, it's been a week full of getting into the Christmas spirit. From spending all of the swear box money accumulated through the year on decorations from the 99p Stores (we have a LOT!), to going out for a festive pizza with the team. We also exchanged our Secret Santa presents, took part in national Christmas jumper day and 'Christmas-ified' our intranet to coincide with the launch of our digital Christmas card.

Looking back on 2013 (my first full year in the job) it's been a pretty intense but rewarding time. We've seen some team members come and go (the former mainly due to me as I've been on nine interview panels this year!) and also have had more than our fare share of accolades in the form of external awards (two golds, three silvers and five ceremonies) which have been tremendous fun. I've also learnt lots and loved the opportunity to work on the first University cinema advert which seems to have been a great success. On a personal level it's also been great as I've welcomed my third child and have started studying for a diploma (having just submitted my first assignment...)

So what do we have planned for 2014? Definitely loads of revamped website sections and we've been gearing up for these in the last month by undertaking a variety of audits. We're also working on stage two of our events calendar and are in the process of a complete homepage redesign.

I hope you all have a brilliant Christmas and new year break. My final task for 2013 is to get my 'to do' list down to double figures...

Merry Christmas from the University of Bedfordshire Digital Marketing team!

A badly Photoshopped montage of the team. I've excluded myself as there's enough
photos of me on here already!
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