New Year resolutions, REF winners and drone campus flyovers

Detail from the snapshot of UK university homepages

Detail from the snapshot of UK university homepages

Here’s another snapshot of all UK university homepages (or at least those that didn’t generate Firefox security warnings…). You can see them all in this Flickr album.

I’ve used the GrabThemAll extension on Firefox to generate them this time (my previous method was PC-only). This method is even simpler. You upload a text file of urls to GrabThemAll and it creates full-screen screenshots in a folder on your desktop. My text file is 135 urls (extracted from my bookmarks folder using BuzzStream’s ‘Extract HREF from HTML’ online tool) and it coped with them quite easily.

The lead stories on current homepages tended to fall into a few groupings:

  • Celebrating REF success
  • UG course promotion ahead of UCAS deadline
  • PG open days
  • New year resolutions and honours

Trendsetters – drones and autoplayed video

I’m predicting 2015 will be the year of the drone for university websites. Two universities currently lead their homepages with drone cam video – South Wales’s flying over the campus and Lincoln’s providing a view of the city and cathedral. In fact, Lincoln manage to combine it with another new trend – their video autoplays without user controls. We can expect to see a lot more of these by the end of the year.



Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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