Recently we’ve been lining up a few cool things which I want to share. Not massive things, no new services with bells and whistles, not even a shiny new design to look at. No, today’s changes are all about little things which most of people won’t notice, but which makes everyone’s lives a bit easier.

First of all, we’re beginning to push our Get Satisfaction feedback tabs onto more services. These delightful little tabs come in a variety of colours (depending on the service you’re using), but all live on the left hand side of the page and give you a pop-up feedback window from where you can tell us your questions, ideas, problems or praise. The whole thing is smoothly integrated with your University account so there’s no need to register again, and we really do value (and listen to, and reply to) everything we hear. Give it a click if you want to tell us something.

Secondly, we’re acting on some feedback! A few of you (read: a lot of you) have complained about the weird sign in page for our Wi-Fi network which forced you to click the ‘I Accept’ button instead of just hitting enter. You’ll be pleased to hear that we’re changing that, and you should see the results either today or tomorrow.

Next up, we’re rolling out more analytics. Google Analytics is now fitted to all our new web services as standard (check our web and privacy policies before you complain about the evil University tracking everything you do) and we’re halfway through retrofitting it to most of our old ones so that we can get an accurate picture of exactly what browsers and operating systems people use, what screen resolutions to target, where we need to focus mobile development and loads of other things. We’re also monitoring how people behave in certain instances, such as seeing where people drop out of the Print From My PC setup process and how exactly people move through pages. There’s also some click tracking going on in certain situations such as on Gateway which will help us put the sites people actually use up at the top of the list. This isn’t something which affects how you use services, but you’ll certainly feel the benefits after a few months as we quietly improve things.

Finally, we’re almost there with colour remote printing. The black and white Print From My PC service has had an amazing response from people, and now we’re a few days away from finalising at least part of a colour offering (it’s a bit more complicated because we have several different colour printing systems). You’re going to love it, we promise.

In other news the University’s Gateway service has been updated to our deliciously shiny new style, and hopefully (if I get my way) it’ll get another update soon to really add the last bit of polish. Likewise we’re working on restyling a few of the things which have so far gone unnoticed like the Staff Directory search, Pay For Print, and our first foray into rebranding other department sites by taking a look at Inter-Library Loans. In short, it’s all happening.

First of all, we’re rolling out analytics. We’re now adding Google Analytics to all our new web services as standard (check our web and privacy policies before you complain about the evil University tracking everything you do) and retrofitting it to most of our old ones so that we can get an accurate picture of exactly what browsers and operating systems people use, what screen resolutions to target, where we need to focus mobile development and loads of other things. We’re also monitoring how people behave in certain instances, such as seeing where people drop out of the Print From My PC setup process and how exactly people move through pages. We’re doing this so that we can spot where things go wrong, or to simplify how you get to certain pages. This isn’t something which affects how you use services, but you’ll certainly feel the benefits after a few months.