The survey conducted before the summer produced some clear results ahead of efforts to introduce a new web platform at Uppsala University.

This survey forms part of a sub-project for the new Staff Portal, with the aim of highlighting users’ needs and expectations, but also making it easier to prioritise these needs.

The survey was completed just before the summer and contains several parts:

  • a digital survey that was sent to all members of staff at Uppsala University,
  • in-depth interviews with both managers and staff,
  • workshops with ‘needs groups’,
  • user journeys – where the user carried out various tasks on the Staff Portal while being externally observed to see how they thought, acted and felt during the trial.

The digital survey had a response rate of 25%, and its results are an important part of the overall needs analysis.

So what can be said about the results?
“In purely general terms, people have a positive view of the Staff Portal as it is currently set up. They can find very good information there,” notes Pernilla Björk, Director of Communications.

As many as 39 and 40 percent of those who responded to the survey feel that they have access to the information they need on the Staff Portal “to some extent” or “to a large extent” respectively.

The notion that the information is “to some extent” or “to a large extent” clear and easy to understand was supported by 38 and 34 percent of respondents respectively, something which was confirmed by both in-depth interviews and statistics.

However, many people, as became evident in the free text comments, think that there is far too much information on the portal. This makes it difficult to find what you want.

Here follow two quotes from staff:
”Less is more should be applied.”
”Take away half of it. Make sure that pages are updated.

Some find it difficult to assess whether the information is up-to-date, as either the most recent update was made a long time ago or duplicate/incomplete information can be found on another page.

The main reason why as many as 23 percent of respondents do not use the Staff Portal more often is that they find it difficult to find the information they are looking for – despite the fact the information is there.

Email is used frequently

14 percent state that they do not even have time to log on to the portal. A likely reason is that they think it takes too long to localise the information they are searching for – something which was also confirmed by the in-depth interviews and user journeys.

This difficulty in finding things on the portal leads staff to start using other channels for information instead. The main rival is email, which is used frequently at the University.
”Competing with that will be a challenge that needs to be considered further during the course of this work,” notes the survey.

The opportunity to convey local information is also relatively limited on the Staff Portal, which could also be a reason for people choosing to access information in another way.

Search function is criticised

Many people find the search function to be deficient. When asked if they feel they can find the right information on the Staff Portal quickly by using the search function, 27 percent responded “to some extent”, while 23 percent responded “not at all” or “to a limited extent”. Only 12 percent feel “to a large extent” that they can quickly find the right information on the portal.

One aim of the web project is thus to ensure the search function is improved.

This also means that the web editors will need further training in how to manage their content in a way that makes the information easier to find via the search function.

“The absolute most important goal for the future portal is to increase confidence and searchability so that users perceive it to be an obvious source of support in their day-to-day work. This means creating content and a structure that provide the greatest benefit for our staff and for our prioritised target groups. It must offer intuitive navigation,” adds Björk.

The completed survey represents an important basis for developing the Staff Portal in line with the established goals:

  • to make it easy to find and access relevant information,
  • to enable people to find all the information they need in their daily work or the route to such information,
  • to be usable regardless of any disabilities,
  • to provide the option of adapting communication to target groups and situations,
  • to be an easy and effective tool for creating content,
  • to foster a sense of unity, uniformity and an experience of Uppsala University among users.