Head of Prospective Student Web Content
St Leonard's Land
- Post code
- EH8 8AQ
Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
I work both at home and in our office.
Neil is an experienced and qualified user experience professional, with a long track record in the public sector digital management and enhancement.
As Head of Prospective Student Web Content, he leads a multi-disciplinary team tasked with unifying the University's approach to online provision for prospective students.
A champion of user-centred research and design techniques, he has pioneered their use in a wide range of University projects and in a previous role established the User Experience Service within Information Services.
Neil initially joined the University to lead on user research, training and support elements in the development and management of the organisation's first corporate web content management system service. Earlier in his career, Neil was a teacher and a higher education student recruitment & engagement officer.
Neil holds an accredited postgraduate qualification in Human Computer Interaction.
His undergraduate degree is in Technology Management, and he also holds a postgraduate teaching qualification.
Neil oversees a wide range of projects supporting colleagues across the University in the development and enhancement of prospective student digital experiences.
The key elements he brings to all these projects are:
- Helping teams and their stakeholders come to a common view of who they're serving and why
- Understanding user needs and how these align with business priorities
- Establishing sustainable management practices informed by regular user insight
- Content Ed 2021, 2022, 2023
- HMRC ResCon 2019
- UX Scotland 2017 & 2019
- UCISA Leaders 2016
- IWMW Higher Education Web Managers 2012, 2014 & 2016
- CIM Higher Education Group 2013
- Scottish User Experience Professionals Association 2010 & 2011
- UX Scotland 2024 (Advisory panel)
- UK EduCamp 2024 (Host institution and co-organiser)
- IWMW Higher Education Web Managers 2012 (Host institution and co-organiser)
- Introduction to the Prospective Student Web Content Team
- Requirements are hypotheses: My experiences with Lean UX (presenting at IWMW 2016 conference)
- User Experience Training : staff experiences
- Usability Testing Service: 2016 achievements summary & 2017 plans
In the press
A collection of slide decks on a range of topics relating to user experience, digital strategy and website management:
Impact of the Prospective Student Web Content Team
- Tuition Fees enhancements 6 months on - in Sprint 2020 we completed our first user-centred enhancement project in support of the Fees Service. Six months and two quarterly reviews later, I reviewed the impact.
- Uncovering student needs around entry requirements - the Team play back the findings of a discovery project looking at how the University provides services around entry requirements
- Rapid user-centred software development for Clearing 2020 - how the Team worked with the Admissions Service is very fluid circumstances to deliver new online services to support undergraduate clearing.
Better website management
How to get a grip of your website (and then keep hold) - Step-by-step guidance on better, more sustainable website management, and how the University Website Programme can help you
Optimising what’s important – Get to know your long neck - In most walks of life, a small number of things are significantly more important than the rest. To be effective as the manager of a web presence or service, you need to know what matters most to your target audiences
Case studies from the User Experience Service
- Straight from the horse’s mouth: focusing student support web content - How we engaged a University community to identify what they really needed from a website, then set about refocusing and delivering a more useful experience
- Collaborative planning of new user experiences for Cityscope - Engaging the Cityscope project team and senior stakeholders to establish a user experience vision before development begins
- Usability Testing Service insight leads to student app enhancements - How multiple rounds of usability testing through the development of a new student service resulted in a significantly better, more user-friendly product
Thinking about user experience
- UX: The building blocks of digital transformation - An opinion piece on digital transformation, and how underneath it all, it's really just good management of user experiences
- Lean UX – requirements are hypotheses - Inspired by a workshop run by Lean UX author Jeff Gothelf, this is an introduction to the concepts with examples of how we made it work at the Website Programme
- Humility in development - We need to accept that we don’t know it all – in fact we don’t necessarily know very much – and plan our development to accommodate learning along the way
- Martin Bojam Leadership Award (Content Ed Awards 2023)
- Content Team of the Year (Content Ed Awards 2023)
- Best Overall Approach to Content Strategy and Content Design (Content Ed Awards 2023)
- Empathy Award for Advancing Audience Research and Insight (Content Ed Awards 2022)