Stuart and I often talk to you about Microsoft web sites where you can find resources to use in your teaching. However, I don’t think that we’ve ever – in the history of this blog – mentioned our own Microsoft UK Education web site. Corporate web sites in general can often be boring and…well…corporate looking, and it’s not always easy for a teacher to find what he or she is looking for (this is part of the reason we designed the Innovative Teachers Network in the first place).

But I’m pleased to announce that our UK Education site has undergone a makeover that has made it friendlier and easier to access everything Microsoft has to offer to teachers (including this blog!).

This is what the site looked like before last Friday:

image

And since Friday morning, it has looked like this:

New website design

Whilst the new look and feel is nice (and has had some good feedback in its first few days) there are some much more important changes to the navigation and design that are important to me.

  • We’ve added specific sections for Schools, Further Education, Higher Education, Teachers and Students
    The previous design did indeed have a colourful tab bar for sections, they only got you to a single page. None of the rest of the content (for example the products section) was separated. Which means that Schools were seeing products only suitable for Higher Education, or vice versa. We’ve got further improvements planned for each of these sections – but obviously content changes had to wait until they existed!
  • There is better linking between this blog and the website
    For example, you can now click on a blog story in the website, and read it right there, without having to jump across to the blog (on a different website)
  • We have tags to help find relevant information
    The whole www.microsoft.com website is enormous, and sometimes impenetrable to navigate. And even the little bit sitting under the UK Education site was becoming unwieldy – with over 140 pages of content to navigate. So now we have added tags to the home page, allowing you to jump straight to key content, without having to search through the menu structure. “Licensing” is a good example – it is one of the most often-read sections, but was previously buried in the menus.
  • We have updated some of the content
    But, to be honest, we have plenty of content updates to do still. Most of our focus has been moving to the new site structure, and now we hope to get lots of content updates between now and the start of term.

    imageGo and visit the site – and then let us know what you think – either by adding comments here, or drop an email to our marketing team, including any thoughts about what you’d like to see, based on how you use the site.