About This Post

Having established the IWMW event series 20 years ago I am very aware of the importance of event evaluation, which can help to identify successful aspects of an event, areas which can be improved and how the event can be shaped for future years. This latter aspect is particularly important in the rapidly changing environment of university web management: just as we are coming to terms with the impact of austerity measures we now have to make plans for the implications of #brexit ๐Ÿ™

Since the IWMW event series prides itself on the importance of community, a series of blog posts have been published which summarise the feedback received for the IWMW 2016 event, the 20th in the series of institutional web management workshops. These posts have covered:

As this series of blog posts reaches an end today we summarise the feedback received on plans for next year’s event.

Planning For IWMW 2017

The online evaluation form for the IWMW 2016 event invited feedback for the following issues:

  • Suggestions for the content at IWMW 2017
  • Suggestions for the format of IWMW 2017
  • Topics would you like to see covered at IWMW 2017?

The following responses were received.

Suggestions for the content at IWMW 2017:

  • One problem our university has is not so much content sprawl as systems sprawl. We buy lots of e-services. Most of these have overlapping functionalities (as smaller institutions buy only one or two systems, they often request developments that replicate things other products do). So, for example, we have an in-house developed student portal, an employability portal, a second employability portal within the employability portal, Blackboard (a learning portal), a student records portal, soon a CRM system with portal-like capabilities, and library course-specific portals. Our user experience for students is a confusing mess if they don’t know what’s where, and which system to use. How can we combat this sprawl?
  • I’d like to explore how other institutions are structured – a lot of people I spoke to at the conference do ‘web stuff’ but not within the IT department. I’d also like to see how other web development teams work – people are bored of the ‘agile’ buzzword, and more people seem to be using kanban and trello but it’d be good for this to be covered at next year’s event.
  • Case studies are always good and welcomed. I think there needs to be a good balance between high level talks, and more practical things as well. I tried to speak to quite a few people during the event on what they thought, and many wondered if doing things like lightening talks might help cram more in, but encourage others to take part and demonstrate things they are involved in
  • Martin Hawksey driven, partnered with a non-google expert, case study
  • One or two plenary speakers from outside HE
  • UX, digital strategy, content strategy, user engagement
  • I’m sorry I don’t have time to fill out a lot of this!
  • What one thing would improve my website? Do students still want a website?
  • As mentioned, would be good to hear from people working in web management outside of the HE sector.
  • Already made suggestions
  • What are people doing after they have been digital transformed?! What worked, what didn’t, what didn’t make any difference and why?
  • Ethnographic UX research techniques explored/experiences shared etc. Content and support for current students and staff as a way to strengthen reputation and brand.
  • Perhaps more focus on website content? There wasn’t much mention of it in the talks, and only a couple of masterclasses. It felt like the majority of talks were focused on the digital team’s journey, or transformation. (Which is fine as it linked to the overall theme of IWMW 16 – however, content plays a major role in this).
  • – dev and content track
  • Thought this year was a good balance. Personally would like a few more technical talks, but can completely understand that not everyone would want that.
  • Web Content Management Customer Experience Management Quality Assurance / Digital Governance / Content Audit Stakeholder management Building a business case Writing for Web Usability / UX Leadership Brand Mobile Analytics How to select a CMS How to select a service provider
  • Keep doing what you’re doing. Up to date, industry specific discussions and presentations.
  • More diverse range of speakers, a mixture of topics, and more people from outside HE (or agencies working with HE) if feasible.
  • Shorter workshops — that Wednesday one was a killer. I felt like I was stuck for hours.
  • More of the same! Personalisation approaches (and data protection) will remain very topical. Something on the legal side / regulation? How do people approach T&Cs, privacy policies etc? How can we avoid the six pages of legalese that no-one reads?
  • Something on content/editorial/managing devolved editorial workflows would be good.
  • More hands on, tactical advice. What tools people use, how to get the best out of products. For example, we use Funnelback, and it frustrates me that we’re probably under using it’s features.
  • More case studies from across HE re: digital transformation and change. Vendor/agency and HEI mix-ups work well Would be good to have a ‘very inspiring’ keynote from outside of the sector to get the juices flowing Given what is happening to HE right now (restructures, cuts etc) who knows what we might need to cover next year!

Suggestions for the format of IWMW 2017

  • More of it. (3-4 days).
  • 4 days instead of 3 – shorter days, 10-4 is my suggestion. Coffee breaks can be 15mins, a full 30mins is not necessary.
  • I think the masterclass is a bit too long, so perhaps shortening that down a bit and running things more than once would give people a chance to get involved in more.
  • Broadly the format works for me. The devil, as ever, is in the detail.
  • Format this year was great. Always like the opportunity for parallel tracks though, so ideally more of this, even if it’s just 2 or 3 talks.
  • One day really with top external speakers
  • Keep as is.
  • As said I will like to have the workshops repeated on day 3 morning so to have the opportunity to do two during the conference.
  • Format works.
  • Already made suggestions
  • Location in Canterbury looks great. So a similar sort of social event with a dinner and an informal way to mix e.g the Titanic exhibition would be great. I prefer shorter workshop style format rather than long master class sessions. But I guess that’s a personal preference.
  • Shorter presentations – 30 minutes, so that the day can either start slightly later and/or finish a bit earlier. and/or an extra break given.
  • The mixture of talks, workshops and masterclasses was good.
  • – keynote speaker – theme for a particular day – more hands on activities
  • Format is good. Let’s add a morning run in the morning, and it will be perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Maybe an additional workshop but otherwise, good format wise. Good break time to talks ratio.
  • I’m not sure I would change anything. It might be nice to be able to attend multiple parallel sessions, but this would tie up the session facilitators too much. More interactivity in the final panel session would be good.
  • I liked the BOAF sessions from a few years ago. Perhaps content and PM streams?
  • Don’t change a thing – the format is a winner
  • This time was about right. Tweaks I’d wonder about: – reducing the number of talks and providing more break time; or running some semi-plenaries (two talks on different angles at the same time) – repeating some workshop sessions to allow people to make different combinations of topics.
  • Similar to this one – thought it worked very well.
  • I thin the current format worked, but maybe a little longer days to build in a bit more chat time in the breaks.
  • Same! Worked really well and gave people opportunity to travel to and from the event (largely) on the days themselves.

Topics you would like to see covered at IWMW 2017?

  • Development workflows How other web teams ‘service’ other departments and schools. More process oriented.
  • Would love a bit of future gazing around where things could potentially go. Especially if we think the web will be dead in ten years.
  • CMA success / horror stories Remarketing example/case study Legal expert presentation on CMA Legal expert presentation on cookies and sophisticated marketing/remarketing/personalisation techniques Accessibility current best practice Live demo of assistive technology user in action
  • UX, digital strategy, content strategy, user engagement
  • Difficult to say this far in advance. Good to see content related to the current trends, new ideas and challenges of the industry and the sector at 2016’s events, so more of the same at 2017, please!
  • Project management methodologies (Agile but also wider than this. Interesting to see DSDM mentioned this year. Also how to manage continuous development). Content strategy (but really more about raising the quality of writing, the relationship between web teams/academics and marketing etc.) Some radical approaches (if they are around?! Has anyone mastered content reduction rather than having a very large website which covers absolutely everything?)
  • More content-related topics, also, working as an effective team when it comes to managing digital projects.
  • – more code related workshops – more hands-on related content workshops
  • Not specific topics, but I really liked Martin Hawksey’s Analytics talk as it covered a lot of things that I’d never heard of before, so more of the ‘out there’/’what the future might hold’-type talks would be good.
  • As above (content at IWMW 2017)
  • Should this say 2017? Whatever is relevant next year! Suppose some post EU exit challenges might be appropriate!
  • More about wider digital issues (not just the web) and more case studies from outside HE – we could learn from other sectors.
  • Project management
  • As above! Ie Personalisation approaches (and data protection) will remain very topical. Something on the legal side / regulation? How do people approach T&Cs, privacy policies etc? How can we avoid the six pages of legalese that no-one reads?
  • More on UX, content, managing change, migrations, the issues involved with being part of a huge university
  • User testing Career Progression Visual Design Innovation
  • Agile, mobile, apps vs. web

The posts published recently will be analysed and used in the planning for the IWMW 2017 event. Feel free to leave any further suggestions as comments on these posts.