Development Usability Website

Shifting focus of the JISC website

We’ve been considering a shift in the focus of the JISC website over the past few months, to better reflect the new JISC strategy and our own Communications and Marketing team strategy. In essence, this means we now want to reach beyond the ‘traditional’ JISC audiences (e.g. librarians, e-learning professionals and Heads of IT) and engage in a more direct and focused way with senior institutional managers and our funders to show how JISC can help them fulful their missions.

In terms of the website, this means moving away from disseminating what JISC does to demonstrating what we know and think, and how this can help address the issues facing the sector. We’ve done a lot of thinking about this as a team and also spoken to representatives from these new target groups to find out what they need from us, and in what form. Of course, we want to ensure that in trying to meet the needs of these groups, we do not neglect or alienate our traditional audiences. However, we feel that our new approach will benefit all users of the website by simplifying and clarifying our messages and mapping them directly to the concerns of the sector.

The result of this research and thinking is a prototype of a revised JISC website – which you can view at This is an early stage iteration and we will be formally testing it but we would also like some informal feedback on where we are going.

The two main additions to the site are the Support and Guidance section (working title so it may change) and a JISC blog.

Support and Guidance groups a number of sector concerns under 5 core themes and provides a ‘cribsheet’ for each: a high level introduction to the issue and relevant advice and guidance from JISC.

The blog will provide regular commentary, ‘heads-ups’ and introductions to hot topics from key players within JISC, as well as providing a useful forum for getting feedback from the sector. It could also be used to live blog corporate events, such as the JISC annual conference. What do you think the scope and ‘personality’ of this blog should be?

There are some changes to the home page and also to the ‘What We Do’ section. We have attempted to simplify the latter section as feedback from our last evaluation indicated it was quite complex and potentially confusing. So we have tried to incorporate all the various ways to cut up JISC activities into a single ‘finder’ tool. I’m interested to see if we’ve got any closer to the elusive goal of simplicity when dealing with the amount and scope of JISC activity. Let us know!

So, does it make sense? Can you see any problems with this approach? Do you understand the structure, concepts and labels we are using on the prototype? There is a commenting facility on the prototype itself or you can comment on this post. We’d love to hear from you.

By Ben Whitehouse

I'm head of web at Jisc. My team manages and other web services. I'm responsible for ensuring the overall user experience of the Jisc web estate is simple, clear and consistent

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