I have recently been working with University of Southampton postgraduate student, Sylvian Patrick, to produce a new design for the main South East Physics Network (SEPnet) website. The project came about as the result of a request from James West, SEPnet Executive Director, who was looking for help developing his organisations’ social media and web channels.
SEPnet plays an important part of the UK’s response to the shortage of STEM graduates. It works to cultivate links between education and business, and pioneer new approaches to collaboration, teaching and research in physics. As it receives significant support from HEFCE and nine UK universities, it was essential that we delivered a site that could help them achieve their objectives.
The SEPnet site as it wasAfter carrying out a review of the SEPnet site, I produced a report that suggested the foregrounding of SEPnets’ social channels, using more images, and moving the site to a responsive WordPress theme. At the initial meeting with James, Sylvian and I pitched the idea of adopting the i-transform WordPress theme. This theme has many features of a typical blog site, but also facilitated the creation of a style that would appeal to SEPnet’s many corporate and academic users.
SEPnet website as it was.With a deadline set for the start of the new academic year, Sylvian and I started work in what turned out to be the relatively glitch-free process of migrating content from the old site – editing it, and adapting it to the new design. Initially we used Zemedia’s web server for the development stage, but as we got closer to finishing we moved this to SEPnet’s host at the University of Portsmouth.
We kept James up to date with progress through all stages of our work, and he is very happy with the finished site:
“We are pleased with the new SEPnet website that Tim and Sylvian designed for us. It’s now in production and we’re getting good feedback. We now have the capability for producing better content with stronger integration with social media and have more of my team able to safely produce the content.” Dr E James W West, Executive Director, South East Physics Network.