About this Guest Post

Neil Allison is a plenary speaker and facilitator at a master class at the forthcoming IWMW 2016 event. Neil is also a great supporter of IWMW events, for the reasons he describes in this guest blog post.

20 Years of IWMW is a Fantastic Achievement. Long May it Continue!

20 years ago I was in a very different place. I was early into my career and working as a secondary school maths teacher.

I won’t bore you with how I transitioned to where I am today, but – to me at least – it’s been a logical journey. The core things that fired me as a teacher are still there now, and influence how I think about website management, software development and user experience.

In short it’s all about people, about attitudes, and about culture. Change hinges on these far more than on technology. These factors are fundamental to our success as teachers or learners, and similarly in how effective the digital interactive experiences are that we create.

And that’s what appeals to me most about the IWMW conferences. For me, it’s not about technology. It’s about the people working with similar challenges in peer institutions, it’s about a fantastic, inclusive, open attitude, it’s about a culture of honesty and sharing. Conferences aren’t typically like this. At least not in my experience.

So here’s to another fantastic event in 2016 at Liverpool JMU. (I’m a LJMU graduate, so really excited to be going back after a very long time.)

And here’s to the next 20 years of IWMW.


Biographical Details

neil allisonNeil Allison is UX Manager at the University of Edinburgh Website Programme. Here he steers the evolution of the University website’s information architecture and the user experience of the corporate content management system. He provides digital strategy and UX consultancy to business units within the University and is contributing to the shaping of a digital transformation programme.

The University of Edinburgh is a large, research-led institution and a member of the Russell Group. The student body totals almost 34,000 with over 11,000 engaged in postgraduate study, supported by over 12,000 staff.

The University Website Programme began life as a project team in 2006, becoming established as a Programme two years later. Its function is to manage EdWeb, the corporate content management system (used by over 1000 staff in around 90 business units to manage over 300 websites), to promote and support best practice in website management and to facilitate the ongoing enhancement of the site in areas of cross-institutional collaboration.

IWMW events attended (4): [IWMW 2008] – [IWMW 2010] – [IWMW 2012] – [IWMW 2014]

IWMW talks: [Plenary talk at IWMW 2014] – [Workshop session at IWMW 2012]

Acknowledgements: featured image taken by Sharon Steeples at the IWMW 2013 conference dinner. Photo available on Flickr with a CC BY-NC licence.