School pilot site feedback

Thank you for feedback on the new school pilot sites.

  Picture by Štefan Štefančík.

We’ve had some really valuable feedback and here are some responses. It is a process of learning and adapting.

Below are responses to some frequent queries.

Why don’t the carousels scroll automatically?

Carousels enable more than one piece of content to occupy the same space. An important question should be, should we have carousels at all?

Research shows that many people overlook carousels, missing the content. A single feature which is regularly updated may be a better option.

We avoid carousels that scroll automatically because they:

  • are impolite
  • are bad for usability and accessibility. There is also a risk that the carousel progresses without giving people enough time to read the content
  • can be perceived as annoying banner adverts (banner blindness)
  • slow down pages on mobile.

Carousels should be used with caution. If in doubt, don’t use them – they are more work to maintain anyway.

Why do school sites need to be the same colour as the main University site?

The new theme uses the University of Kent brand colours to represent a coherent brand image.

School character is vital. This is represented through content which allows the school to tell it own story by using effective messaging, editorial, imagery and video for its audiences.

How Universities could profit from a simpler Brand Architecture

Why are you using large image files for mobile?

We are using images optimised for desktop for the pilot site. The same image loads on a mobile, tablet or desktop.

This isn’t an efficient solution as images can take longer to load on mobile devices. (Mobiles don’t need to load the larger desktop image size, only images suitable for their screen size.)

Serving large images for all devices is a temporary measure. This is a stop-gap to allow us to get the new theme out earlier.

We’ll be improving this as soon as we can. We’re moving towards a smarter way to serve up images as part of Site Editor. Mobile devices will eventually receive smaller images, speeding up their load time.

We’re also improving our load time by refactoring and minimising CSS, Javascript and HTML.

Why does the profile page not include contact details on mobile?

We have received positive feedback about the new design of the staff profile pages. But one aspect which isn’t working well is the mobile view.

On mobile, the contact information (phone and email address) gets pushed to the bottom.

We’ll relook at how the content arranges on mobile to bring this vital content to the top.

Why do we use capital letters when they affect usability?

The University sometimes uses capital letters as a part of the brand design. These are not used in sentences, but only for headings and key marketing messages.

The website uses capital letters for the section titles and limited design elements. This is to reflect the University brand.

Using capital letters can affect readability and accessibility. We would never use caps for sentences or long sections of text.

“All caps are fine in contexts that don’t involve much reading, such as logos, headings, acronyms, and abbreviations.”
Why Text in All Caps Is Hard for Users to Read

For now the website needs to reflect the University brand. Limited use of caps is a distinctive design element.

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