Requesting a website feature or design change

Last updated May 2019

The Digital team are committed to making ongoing improvements to users’ digital experience of the University. We welcome suggestions and requests for changes, and will consider carefully whether we can add them to the web development roadmap.

Please bear in mind that web development is complex. Not all requests may be technically feasible given our current architecture and the underlying data available. Even small changes require extensive testing across different devices and browsers.

Changes to standard content within our existing templates will be carried out routinely – please contact webcontent@buckingham.ac.uk.

Summary

  1. Contact the Digital team with the change or feature request
  2. Discuss the change with Digital team to establish the user needs, and to evaluate what work would be involved
  3. Digital team prioritises the change against existing roadmap, deciding whether and when the work should be planned to be done
  4. Digital team communicates back when the work has been planned for, or why the reasons why we are unable to do so currently
  5. Implementation takes place as part of the ongoing website development roadmap

Understanding the request

To understand potential development needs, the Digital team will seek to understand:

  • The goal of the change – why is a change needed?
    • User needs it meets
    • Business goals it supports
  • Details of implementation – what change is needed?
    • What exactly is being requested – is it a quick fix or major project?
    • Technical requirements and feasibility
    • Identify different possible solutions

Depending on how complex this is, this might be possible to capture in an email or phone call, or the Digital team may meet with you to discuss the requirements in more depth.

Where appropriate, the Digital team will work with you to conduct research or analyse data to clarify the need, e.g. surveying students, doing in-person testing, looking at analytics.

Prioritisation

Responsibility for prioritisation lies with the Digital team. We prioritise based on the criteria in the Digital Development Policy, which is focused on user-needs – what will make the biggest difference to the most people?

Our priority audiences are prospective and current students, though we also aim to balance the needs of other audiences including alumni, parents, staff and so on within the development plan.

We also take into account the business needs of the University, particularly student recruitment.

This means that change requests that only reflect internal needs or desires, or that only affect small numbers of users, will be low priority and may not be accepted.

Communication

Once the Digital team has understood the need and prioritised it, the decision about whether to schedule the work and an expected timeline for delivery will be.

Implementation

Changes will be implemented according to the website development roadmap.

Small changes will be actioned by the web developer as part of the regular development cycle.

Significant changes will be treated as a digital project by the whole Digital Team, to include user research, measurement of impact before and after, design, content creation and so on as needed for the project.

Where relevant, the requesting school or department and other stakeholders will be included in the project. A kick-off meeting will be scheduled by the Digital team at the start of implementation to plan the project and share responsibilities.