Transforming R & D

We’re about to start the next major piece of development work on the Jisc website: transforming the research and development (R&D) section.

The relaunch of the website this summer focused on our ‘market-ready’ products and services, advice and corporate information. We excluded R&D from phase 1 because of the size and complexity of the current content, plus our offer in this area is changing. The section had a modest facelift to bring it more into line with the new design but the content, layout and structure is largely unchanged. So R&D is long overdue some love.

Our aspirations

We want the R&D section to be a very different beast from what you see today: long lists of programmes and projects and falling headlong into content of incredible detail and complexity. Great if you know what you are looking for; not so great if your task is a little fuzzier or if you want an overview of how we have tackled a research question over time.

We want to showcase our best R&D work in creative and appropriate ways. We want to clearly explain our innovation model and demonstrate the value it has to our customers. We want to engage you and inspire you to get involved.

Your needs

Earlier this year, we spoke to a number of you about how we should be presenting our R&D work on the website.

You want Jisc to curate, showcase and direct you to the information and outputs which will allow you to innovate in your own practical work or inform your strategic decisions. You want us to present narratives of our innovation journeys in contexts you understand. You want to see exposed workings and synthesised learnings that allow you to build on the successes and failures of those who have gone before. You want to see practical outputs: tools, not PDFs.

Get involved

We’re at the start of the design process. We have some ideas of how this section could look and operate. Over the next few months, we are going to be developing these ideas into the section structure, page templates and content strategy.

We will need your feedback. We’d like to fire out ideas, sketches and rough designs to interested users throughout the process and get an immediate steer if they are on the money or not. If you are interested in our R&D work, why not get involved? Please contact me at or leave a comment below.

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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