University College, Dublin’s annual magazine, UCD Connections, is written and published for its alumni, both past and present.  This means the target audience numbers well over a quarter of a million people, spread across the globe, and working in every sphere.  UCD graduates are to be found in art and industry, science and business, culture, sport and public life. 

UCD is a long-term client of Emarkable, and has now commissioned Emarkable to develop a digital version of UCD Connections.  As the President’s letter in the most recent issue of the magazine makes clear, Covid-19 has had a strong impact on the University and its activities, and it is not only teaching and assessment that is being carried out remotely; the digital version of Connections took on a new importance.  Life on the campus has to continue, and the magazine is designed for alumni, is about alumni, and is now capable of keeping graduates in touch with the University, without physical contact. 

UCD is one of the leading research centres of the world, and its expertise has been much in demand when it comes to Covid-19.  UCD is running sixteen research projects, funded under the Government’s Rapid Response programme.  These are wide-ranging, and cover many aspects of the fight against the disease, ranging from the re-purposing of existing drugs to forecasting the potential impact of Covid on communities and industries, as well as the important fields of disease communication and digital manufacturing of personal protective equipment.

The Connections website needed to retain its magazine format, whilst at the same time being innovative, and presenting itself in a fresh and attractive manner.  The research for the news sites and news portals needed to be meticulous, and, because the reports and stories in the magazines change quite rapidly, there is a very tight timeframe. 

Emarkable developed individual templates for each section, as the client had stressed the importance of useability. In addition, Connections needs to be, at least in part, a research resource for readers who expect to be kept abreast of developments in their particular fields, so the content must be up to the minute, clear, and detailed. 

This is an ongoing and challenging project, and Emarkable has produced an excellent platform that meets the requirements of the client, and that can be speedily adapted and developed as circumstances change.