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I love learning but I’m lazy. When it gets too hard I’m strongly tempted to give up. Luckily though, I’m also quite competitive and I hate to fail. This means that when I’ve enrolled in a formal course my competitiveness and fear of failure overcome my laziness and allow me to succeed.


MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. As the name suggests, it’s a course delivered online, and is open to anyone in the world which leads to massive numbers enrolling.



We think the new Campus maps are a huge improvement on our old maps and the feedback we've received suggests you agree. One of the really cool features of the new Campus maps is not what you see but the technology that drives it in the backend. This technology allows us to use campus data in new and wonderful ways, like to power the maps in the Sydney Uni app.

Anyway, one of the little bugbears for University webmasters was the lack of an easy way to integrate campus maps into their websites. Well we have good news. We've made Mini maps! Mini maps are a simple way of highlighting the location of a building on campus via a small map that can be included on a CMS-powered page. What is even better is that Mini maps integrate with the new Campus maps, allowing you to view the building on a larger map by clicking the "view in larger map" link.

If you want to include a mini map on your site check out our Mini map guide. If you have any feedback for how we can improve Mini maps then drop us a line at

Ever wonder how many visits our website gets each month?

"Lots" is the short answer — in fact we get an amazing 3 million visits and 9.4 million page views a month. If you're a University staff member or student and want a bit more detail, check out our web statistics overview page. You'll need your UniKey to log into the page.

The stats page was put together by web developer David Jessup and dynamically updates with the last 30 days of usage data collected by our web analytics software, Urchin. The stats listed only cover the domain (our corporate website).

If you're a University webmaster you can get access more data by logging into Urchin. You can view the top content on your website, compare visits and page views at different times of the year, and much more. Access to Urchin is not tied to your UniKey and requires an account to be set up by ICT.

App download breakdown by platform. iOS download account for 79% while Android downloads account for 21% of total downloads

Back in July we launched a new University of Sydney smartphone app to much fanfare. We had posters, flyers, giant decals on buildings, chalk ads on footpaths, website promos, and the list goes on. Today, I was looking at the downloads statistics and though it might be nice to share.

Since launch, we've had a total 18,300 downloads (not including updates) of the app, across both iOS (iPhone) and Android platforms. Of these downloads, 14,480 were for the iOS version and 3,820 were for Android. Given how much you read about Android having a larger market share, it's interesting to see that almost 80% of our app downloads were for iOS.

If you don't already have the app, you can grab it from


Having good campus maps is important. Whether you're a student or a staff member, new to the uni or have been here forever, it can be a challenge to find your way around our sprawling campus. For a while our online maps have felt a little neglected, a bit past their prime, and unfortunately almost archaic when compared to Google Maps and Bing Maps.

Well I'm glad to say that last month we quietly launched our new Campus Maps. The new maps represent months of work for a whole team of people. We spent hundreds of hours redrawing the maps, plotting locations, developing the functionality, editing place names and more. As a result we think the new campus maps are our best online maps yet.

Of course the new Campus Maps is just begging for some more exciting things to come. I won't reveal everything now but I will say we're working on a new way to embed/link to the new maps in web pages, something that web masters have wanted to do for a long time.

Be sure to check out the new Campus Maps and if you have any feedback, good or bad, email us at

Last place isn’t always the worst place to be. When building or reviewing your website, we recommend you begin at the bottom and work your way up. This means you will finish (not start) by choosing the right homepage template for your department’s needs.

You’ll find that by working on your content before worrying about the visual effect of a homepage, you’ll be more likely to have a better website. Get the content right first, and you’ll be able to build a better structure around it.


We recently launched the University’s new future students website, which is an essential communication channel with our domestic and international audiences.


Many University staff find it to tricky to master capitalisation. However, to make life easier for you we have now summarised our editorial guidelines for capitalisation all in one place on the Editorial Style Guide.

University style is to minimise capitalisation, and our summary explains when we should and shouldn’t use it in our communications.


On Friday 13 April, the Marketing & Communications and ICT teams presented information on future plans for the University's online presence at an event for all Uni staff.

Discussions ranged across improving our content management system, implementing a staff intranet, and a host of other topics.

The event was recorded and four videos, presenting each speaker's presentation, are available on the web forum page.


When we redesigned the University’s stationery for the rebranding in 2010, one of the most difficult problems we had was in the area of e-communications. The University has a strategic commitment to reduce the amount of printed publishing, so providing branded templates for e-communications was a clear priority.


We recognise that at times it can be tricky to resolve editorial style issues on your own: to capitalise or not to capitalise; using en dashes versus em dashes; when to use acronyms; and formatting times and dates just to name a few.

To help you ease your word worries, we have created an editorial style snapshot that you can skim through in a few minutes to answer those questions. You can also download a PDF to keep on your desktop or print and pin up next to your computer.


The Uni has a strong commitment to providing all people (regardless of disability) with access to the tools, resources and information they need to interact with the Uni whether it be studying here as a student, visiting the campus or using our website.

Providing an accessible website to our users has always been a Web and Print Production (WPP) priority and we’re always looking at how we can improve the way people access ours. One key area where we’ve recently been doing a bit of work is using WAI-ARIA attributes in web pages to make them easier for people with vision impairment or those who navigate via the keyboard to use. Essentially WAI-ARIA attributes are added to HTML tags so that the webpage makes more sense and is easier to navigate when read by a screen reader.


Are you new to the University, working in marketing and communications, looking for some help with a project, or interested in the resources available to you as a staff member or student? The new Marketing and Communications website should be one of your first stops! Read on to see why.


It’s been obvious for a number of years now that the University’s website is our most important communications channel.


A few weeks ago we rolled out an update to the University Standard Web Template (USWT) bringing it up to version 3.2. The update includes a few new features, some minor changes and bug fixes.


If you have daily dilemmas about how to spell particular words (it happens to the best of us, even yours truly) we have some great news for you. All University staff have free access to the online version of the Macquarie Dictionary.


It's always interesting to look over web statistics and observe how technology evolves. Over time, as new technology becomes cheaper and more commonplace, the baseline technology (screen sizes, web browsers, Flash versions) we support also changes.


Taking a photo is easy! But, taking a good photo is a mixture of luck, preparation and good timing.


Are your printed photos fuzzy?
Are people faces unrecognisable in the blur?
Is InDesign telling you your images aren’t hi-res enough?
Well, you probably need more pixels!


(I hate brackets.)

Yep, I hate how they look on the page, how often they get tangled up with full-stops and commas, and especially what they do to a sentence.

All editors have their little hatreds … ellipses, buts, thats, whiches, exclamations, semicolons, gerunds, split infinitives, ises and izes, but my special bugbear is the Parentheses.


There is something inherently cool about never having a permanent job [not that my husband agrees]. No bosses, no 9-5 drudgery, no pesky workfellows you can’t bear to spend another day with, complete freedom at a minutes notice. The reality is just a teeny bit, slightly, different: the glamour of freelance graphic design has somehow turned out to be full of long hours, difficult clients, or worse - no clients, dull production line work and editors who only ever seem to take 4 hour lunch breaks on deadline day, the list sometimes seems endless [and getting to work until lunchtime in your pyjamas is little compensation].


The University sponsors the Sydney Festival because it so closely meshes with our own mission. As the website says “Sharing our passion for the arts, performance and intellectual debate with the wider community is at the heart of our vision and values and something that we do every day of the year.”


The main purpose of adding frequently asked questions (FAQs) to your website is to manage enquiries that would otherwise need an individual response from service and support staff. Designing your FAQs using the following guidelines will help ensure your website users find the information more useful.


Once upon a time, the success of a website was judged largely by how many animated GIFs it had. While it can be fun to relive those glory days, most of us have since realised that this internet phenomon is actually serious business.

Web design can seem like a black art. How do we know if we are making the right decisions? What do we do when you get a request to replace the link to Thing-Everybody-Loves with one to That-Awful-Page-Nobody-Cares-About? How do we figure out if people are finding those really important pages about enrolment cut-off dates, or if the link we put up to that new undergraduate degree is getting clicked on?

The answer, is web analysis!