St Andrews ranked #1 in the world for student satisfaction in IT support

St Andrews is ranked 1/45 internationally, 1/22 in the UK, 1/8 in our rival groups

Support average—IT Services support

i-graduate (often referred to simply as iGrad) is the global benchmark for student experience, implemented by over 1,400 of the world’s best universities, with feedback from over 1.7 million students.

The i-graduate student survey results for the ‘autumn wave 2013’ were released to the University last week.

It was really encouraging to see the University of St Andrews ranked number one in the world for satisfaction regarding IT support.

“Ranked top globally for IT Support (by globally, we mean those institutions that took part in both the international and home versions of the survey).”
—i-graduate representative

Some numbers:

  • 227,519 students were surveyed worldwide.
  • 178 institutions participate across 13 countries.
  • 21% response rate.
  • Our rival group is defined as Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Nottingham, Warwick and York.
  • 94% was the overall satisfaction (across all categories) with the University of St Andrews.

This is a tremendous achievement and coupled with the unit being accredited with 3-star service desk certification from the Service Desk Institute (SDI) shows that we must be doing something right. Well done everyone.

Right, back to support calls…

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How Safari became the number one browser at St Andrews

Last week I logged into Google Analytics to take a look at browser statistics for the University website. I was surprised to discover that Safari is now the most popular browser among visitors to the University website.

In January 2012, 29.5% of all visits to the University website were made using Safari. This compares to 26.5% for Internet Explorer. Chrome has 21.4% and Firefox has 20.1%.

It is an unusual finding. Take Wikimedia’s statistics, which show 29.5% of traffic coming from IE users, and only 6.1% coming from Safari users.

Here at St Andrews, Safari was also the most popular browser in December 2011. But it hasn’t always been this way. So I decided to take a look through the previous months to figure out the trends.

Browser trends since September 2010

Browser statistics

I looked as far back as September 2010, the last month when Safari was still only the third most popular browser among our visitors. At that time, as you would probably expect, Internet Explorer had a healthy lead in front of the other browsers — 41.4%. Firefox had 24.4%, Safari had 22.1% and Chrome had 10.5%.

Since then, the big four browsers have converged, so that they each now account for 20-odd percent of visits.

There has been a strong decline in IE usage. Firefox usage has also decreased, although it now appears to be making a small resurgence. But, while Firefox was once the clear favourite among non-IE users, today it is only the fourth most popular browser.

Chrome has experienced massive growth. It has now overtaken Firefox and shows no sign of stopping.

Safari has experienced a steady increase over this period. Chrome is growing more quickly, but it began from a lower point.

Is Safari so popular anywhere else?

Last week I tweeted about the fact that Safari is the most popular browser among our visitors.

There were some interesting responses.

 

So I took a look at the operating systems used by the University website’s visitors.

In January 2012, 33.1% of visitors were using a Mac. I would guess this would be much higher than most other websites. For instance, Wikimedia estimates that only 8.6% of its visitors are using a Mac.

Usage of Macs among our visitors has grown from 26.0% in September 2010. This clearly contributes a great deal towards the popularity of Safari, which is further bolstered by the growth of iOS devices.

Quite what explains why we have so many Mac users at St Andrews is another question! Perhaps you can come up with some theories.

An unfamiliar view of St Andrews

standrews-harbour-chris-cuthbert

A few weeks ago I spotted this photo called, simply, “St Andrews” on the Our Scotland website; it was taken by Chris Cuthbert.

What I love about it is that it’s not a familiar view of St Andrews. I had to think for a moment where it was taken from. Most photographs of the harbour are taken either from or include the pier. This one has been taken from near the East Sands looking towards Balfour Place, The Shore, and Shorehead.

This post has got nothing to do with the Web. I just thought it was a beautiful photo and worthy of sharing.

Learn about writing for the web

The University’s Staff Development team is providing a course on writing for the web. It will take place 19 November from 1.15 pm to 4.30 pm at Seminar Rooms 3 and 4, David Russell Apartments.

If you produce content for the University website, you may want to attend this course. Here is why, according to the course details:

When writing for the Web your content needs to be concise, scannable and objective. Users find it harder to read from a screen than paper so they scan the page looking for what they want – you probably do it too – so as Web content creators we need to write our content in such a way that we help users get what they want as quickly as possible.

This short course will help you understand:

  • The benefits of good writing for the Web
  • Why the Web is different
  • The importance of structured content
  • How to write for the Web
  • How to easily maintain and revise content

This is part two of a two module course with the first module being Clear, Concise & Comprehensive Writing. Participants can register for either or both of the modules running on 19 November. Lunch will be provided for those who have registered for both modules.

Book a place online now if this sounds like the course for you.

Gareth has been busy working on this. I was going to be involved, but I can’t as it turns out I will be at T44U in Dublin when the course is taking place.

Changes at web team HQ

The web team has recently gained a fifth member. Rich Gordon joined last month as Website Migration Project Officer. His focus will be on moving websites into the main content management system. It will be a big task!

For those of you who know the setup of the web team, Rich has moved into the web team’s office. Chris has therefore moved upstairs to sit nearer other developers in Business Improvements. Meanwhile, I remain in my cupboard.

Contacting the web team

Email @ symbol

To help us manage more effectively how we deal with support calls, we would like to encourage people to email support requests to webteam@st-andrews.ac.uk rather than directly to individual members of the web team. These calls can easily be assigned to any member of the web team using the IT Helpdesk call management system; direct emails cannot and run the risk of not being attended to at all if the recipient is on holiday.

We found that many people erroneously thought that webmaster@st-andrews.ac.uk was the personal email address of the University Web Manager, Dr Stephen Evans. It’s not, so the webteam email address has been newly created to reflect the fact that these emails are sent to the whole team.

Papal Bull – Original or iPad edition?

Papal Bull

The University’s Photo of the Week (and accompanying press release) this week shows one of the Papal Bulls issued by Pope Benedict XIII in 1413 that formally constituted the University of St Andrews.

Is it just me, or does it look like it was issued on a giant prototype Apple iPad?

See, I always knew that St Andrews was ahead of the game!