The last Friday of the 3rd week at work, I had my probation setting meeting with my manager before she’s gone to Canada for 2 weeks. We first talked a bit about the MailChimp newsletter templates, the course flyers that I need to work on and the International students section on the University’s website.
While the new university’s website has been building and gradually replacing the old Insight webpage, the International Entry Requirements and Student Profiles sections are still in the pdf form, making it really difficult for prospective students using mobile phones or tablets. I was then asked to come to the University’s Digital Marketing department office at the Delta Place in town for 3 weeks to work on that issue.
And that’s why I had my first ever “business trip” on the fourth week at work. As I’ve never heard the “Delta Place” before, I kind of did a bit of google search and realized I’ve actually walked past that place several times without noticing the name (…). Lucky enough, it is right at the town centre and about 10 minutes’ walk from where I live.
I was actually worried a little when I walked in, but the men at the Reception were really friendly and funny which made me feel much more comfortable. I just needed to wait a bit until the Digital Marketing officer, Samuel Copland, came and took me to the office.
Delta Place was such a nice place with an open working environment where everyone from different departments could talk to each other freely and easily. As it was so different from my office (where we sit in our room with 1 or 2 other people), I felt a bit strange at first but that feeling didn’t last long. People there were all really nice and friendly that I was offered a cup of tea or coffee every 10 or 15 minutes.
After a quick office tour guided by Rob, another member of the Digital Marketing team, I sat down with Sam to plan the new webpage. We finally came up with the idea that the old Entry Requirements page would be replaced by the In Your Country page which includes 83 countries specific information about entry requirements, agent representatives and student profiles. Sam then gave me a quick introduction of the University’s SharePoint web system and instructions to use several soft-wares needed to complete my tasks.
Nervous, but mostly excited, I started the project by categorizing the existing data into 83 country files with three main headings mentioned above. After that, I was asked to create webpages for those countries where suitable information should be added. Call-to-Action buttons were also added to provide helpful information about Undergraduate courses, International fees and scholarships as well as Accommodations and option to contact the International office to make it easier for users to navigate. I’ve always admired people who could work on webpages or things like those and I still couldn’t believe that I was able to actually produce one on my own. Huge thanks to Sam and his brilliant instructions!
I came across the first difficulty when it came to the featured image for the site. Since the University share folders were lack of up-to-date international student photos to use for the heading part of the website, I had to arrange a photo shoot at Oxstalls Campus with five students (thanks to my cousin, Linh, to help me with this!) after asking for the Release forms from the Marketing department.
The photos used for specific country pages were also bought with full license and edited to fit the webpage guideline. I was also required to make a list of popular and relevant keywords used to search for information about international students at the University. This list was then used to complete the navigation from popular search engines such as Google to relevant URLs.
And finally, after the test on computer and smartphone screens and some adjustments, the webpages were finally published! I couldn’t describe how great I felt when it happened, kind of like a mixture of satisfaction, pride and relief.
This project was such a great opportunity for me to learn more about the website designing and management. I appreciated short time talking to Samuel as I could learn a lot from him. After going through this project, I have realized that designing a webpage isn’t just about developing the codes and putting randomly information online but the developers need to consider users’ perspectives and think about the smallest details such as the colours or the text sizes. It also helped me feel much more confident with some basic website knowledge. What I liked the most out of this this project was the fact that everything was done by me (with some instructions of course) which gave me such great chance to practice my creative and digital soft-wares skills!