IT Services survey 2014/15

IT survey prize winner 2014/15

The main survey prize, a Google Nexus 7, was won by Nicholas Allen, pictured here with the Head of IT Services, Heidi Fraser-Krauss.

Thank you to those who completed the IT Services survey in October 2014, your feedback and comments form an important part of developing our services.

We received a total of 2,163 responses to the survey.

  • 62% were students
  • 32% were non-academic staff
  • 5% were academic staff
  • 1% other

A detailed report of the results is available to download:

The free text comments have been removed from the report in order to maintain privacy. However, the points made have been grouped by theme and responded to in the You said, we did section below.


‌‌Survey graph 2014/15

Areas identified for improvement

These are areas where we are currently below minimum expectations:

  • Printing and scanning
  • Wireless internet coverage

Most improved areas

  • Courtesy of support staff
  • Printing and scanning
  • Wireless internet coverage
  • Getting timely resolution to problems
  • Speed of the internet service

Areas where we are meeting your needs

  • Courtesy of Support Staff
  • Email Service
  • IT classrooms and study areas
  • Knowledge of support staff
  • Calendar service

You said, we did

You saidWe did
Wireless coverage has improved but there are still areas on campus that aren’t covered or it’s patchy.

During the 2013/14 academic year, we rapidly expanded our wireless provision across campus, concentrating on student accommodation - which is now entirely covered - and communal spaces.

We have achieved a good level of wireless coverage but we are aware that it can be patchy in some buildings. We will be addressing these difficult areas early in 2015.

In addition, during the 2015/16 financial year we are planning to enhance the wireless network in the following areas:

  • Alcuin blocks A, B and C
  • King's Manor
  • Heslington Hall
  • Physics, Electronics and Biology
  • Some outdoor spaces
Printing facilities are improving, but we’d like more printers, and greater reliability.

We know printer reliability is very important to you and we are making the following technical changes to address this:

  • moving all multifunction devices on campus to the most stable version of software available - our software providers are also focusing on improving stability
  • updating our servers to improve stability and introduce new features
The usage of multifunction devices across campus is regularly reviewed and this enables us to determine how many devices are needed, where they should be located and what specifications they should have.

There are currently no plans to increase the number of York Print Plus devices within IT classrooms and study areas, as usage statistics do not suggest they are needed.
I’m concerned about the reliability of the network given recent outages. Offering a high speed and reliable network is core to our service. In order to achieve this, we are beginning a campus-wide programme of infrastructure upgrades that will improve overall performance and resilience.

Although we have experienced some reliability issues over the last few months, these have been mainly a result of external factors. For example, the loss of external connection in October was caused by major problems with the Janet UK network in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Going forward, we are working closely with our service providers to ensure improved reliability and we are already planning further capacity increases.
I’d like quicker response times for IT problems.

As part of our work to meet our service standards, we will be reviewing our processes for handling support queries and tracking response times.

In addition, the IT Support Office are making a number of changes so they can respond to your problems as quickly as possible, including:

  • Trialling clinics for users with malware issues. As these problems can take a significant amount of time to resolve they are now dealt with separately from other issues, allowing staff more time to respond to general enquiries.
  • Trialling targets for phone waiting times and abandoned rates. These will be benchmarked against the University of Leeds’ IT Service Desk.
I’d like more IT support for my research.

We provide a wide variety of specialist computing facilities for researchers, including the York Advanced Research Computing Cluster (YARCC), access to high performance computing facilities and research0, a large AMD based Linux server.

Over the last year we have also improved our documentation and support for researchers, and we now offer dedicated training. For more information, please see:

As a member of staff, I would like better access to IT training. We are currently reviewing our training and software support models so that these align with user needs and best practice across the sector. We are also running further sessions to provide training on Google Apps (email, calendar and collaborative software) as this is a core need identified from the survey.
I’d like web systems that are easier to use, particularly to support teaching and learning. We are working with colleagues across the University to improve our web systems.

Recently we have launched an application allowing students to make their module choices online in ten departments. This system will make it easier for students to choose their preferred modules, reduce administration time and also optimise the allocation of modules so that students are more likely to get their preferred choices.

Working in collaboration with the E-Learning and Development Team, we have piloted and rolled out an e-assignment workflow, which aims to improve the administration and management of student submissions for assessment. The next stage of the development work will focus on the marking experience.    

Comments on other services

We also received a number of comments on services not provided by IT. The service owners have provided the following responses:


You saidThey did

Make the VLE compatible with mobile devices.

It's unclear how to use the VLE.

The VLE is a little clunky and difficult to navigate.

We received a number of comments about the VLE's functionality and these have been responded to by the E-Learning and Development Team on their blog:

University website

You saidThey did

Searching the University website can be slow and doesn't always return useful results.

Ease of website navigation and quality of content is variable in different parts of the site.

Using University web pages and services on a mobile device is not as easy as it could be.

It's hard to find rooms around campus.

A new search engine has been deployed which has a better indexing system and includes additional features to help find results faster, such as autocomplete and document filters.

The Strategic Marketing and Digital Communications team are working on a consistent set of design components to improve the user experience of the different areas of the site. That team is gradually growing so that it can provide more expert resources to help improve the site over time.

New research web pages, launched in January 2015, were our first mobile-optimised pages. Development of additional templates is ongoing, and we will gradually roll these out to the rest of the website.

Minor improvements have been made to the online map, such as enabling linking straight to specific departments. Room search will hopefully be added later in 2015.

Registry Services

You saidThey did

I’d like to access e:Vision from my mobile device.

I find e:Vision slow and difficult to use.

We’ve been working with departments and system users to create a roadmap for the development of our student systems. A core theme of the roadmap is to develop administrative services that provide seamless support for student life; this includes, where possible, enabling users to carry out key aspects of administration via a mobile device. We are currently working with our software supplier to scope and plan the development of e:Vision services so that they can be accessed via mobile devices in the future.

We are currently undertaking two concurrent projects to improve the speed and usability of e:Vision. We are redesigning and simplifying the e:Vision interface with the aim of making it more intuitive, and easier and quicker to access relevant services. We expect this to launch in Summer 2015. We are also reviewing our existing role group structure (through which access to services is granted) with the aim of streamlining this and thereby noticeably improving the overall e:Vision system performance.