This summer we have made changes to the way staff names and email addresses are displayed to make them clearer, friendlier and more in line with the way our student email service and other organisations present their addresses.
We hope this has led to less confusion and simpler communication between staff and students, but any unexpected change can be disorientating, so please read the information below to make sure you know what has happened.
Previously, our email names were
displayed in reverse order, with the surname first and the first name
last, for example ‘Shacklock Jill', or ‘Brown Pat'.
Our internal email display names are now switched round to a more
recognisable and friendlier ‘first name, last name' order. For example Brown Pat is now Pat Brown.
Q What difference does this make?
When you send a message to colleagues, you should now type their first name first. It's as simple as that! If you forget and type the last name first, your email client will still help you find the right person, it will just take a little longer.
Email addresses of both staff and students now appear in first name last name order in the university address book (the Global Address List). This is the long list of names you see when you click on the To: button, or the Address Book button.
When you receive messages from university colleagues, they now show up in your inbox folder list with the first names first. This could cause confusion when you want to sort your messages in order of who they are from because messages sent before July 19, are likely to appear in a different part of the folder list. For example, messages from ‘Brian McCarthy won't be listed next to messages from ‘McCarthy Brian'. Luckily, this irritation can be overcome, see the hints and tips on sorting and searching messages below.
Q Does this change the way I log in to email?
No, your mail account is not changing. It is only the way your name is displayed (your display name) that is changing.
Q Are students affected?
Student accounts themselves are not affected, as the student UniMail service already uses the new name and email address formats. However, student names were shown in reverse order in our internal Exchange address book. Since the end of July, student names have been shown in first name last name order.
Q What happens to shared (functional) accounts
Shared (functional) accounts are not affected, as they effectively only have a single name field (which stays in the same order).
2. Messages sent to external colleagues
We have also made changes to the way your name is displayed in messages sent outside the university. Previously your email address normally appears in the form
. Since July 10 2012, your name has been added in front of your email address to make it clearer and friendlier, for example:
From: ‘Jill Shacklock <
Exactly how it is displayed will depend on the mail client the recipient is using.
Q What difference does this make?
As this information only appears in the From field of messages you send outside the university, it will make no difference to you. However you may wish to advise your external contacts of the change, perhaps by adding a note to your mail signature. This will be helpful if they search for messages from you as they need to know that there may be two different forms of address for you: one for messages sent before July 10th and one for messages sent after July 10th.
Q Is my email address different?
No your email address for external contacts will be exactly the same, it is only the way it is displayed in the From field that is changing. So, there is no need to change business cards and other contact details.
Q What has happened to shared (functional) accounts
If you use a shared (functional) email account, please note that these use the new format, with the display name of the account appearing with the address. For example ‘Service Desk '. If the current display name of the shared account (as it currently appears in the Exchange address book) is not suitable for an external audience, contact the
to agree a more appropriate name (this can be done in advance of the change).
Q Why has this been done?
These changes were approved by the university's Information Services Committee and by the Marketing and Communications department in March 2012. The changes bring us in line with the way other organisations present their email addresses and should make future communication clearer and easier. We tested the changes with a pilot group of staff and have not found any problems or disruptions caused by the changes.
Q I want to see all the messages from my colleague sent before and after his email name was reversed. How can I do this?
The instructions for sorting and searching messages are different for different mail clients and for different operating systems. Choose from the instructions below:
If you are having problems using the new email address format, try using the Check Names button in your mail client.
This makes finding email addresses much easier as it searches by surname and by first name and it will find 'Bob Brown', even if you type 'Brown Bob'.
To use Check Names, just type as much of a person's name as you are sure of and then click the Check Names button. This is much simpler than clicking the To: button as the latter takes you straight to the Address Book which appears to be much fussier in searching.
Posted by Jill Shacklock, on 09/06/2012 at 15:28
Hi Simon, Mike, Sue I am sorry that the changes have caused you frustration and hope that we can find a way to make it easier. Although mail names have been reversed for display purposes, with all the mail programs I use (Outlook 2010, 2011 and staffmail) I have found that I can still use the old reversed mail name format when typing an address into the To Field. If I know the surname and am not sure about the first name, I type the surname first and if necessary, click Check Names. If I know the first name I type that first. Either way, I rarely have to enter the whole name. If this does not work for you, can you let me know which email client you are using?
The issue of having two forms of address from correspondents before and after the change was more difficult to deal with and we found that every mail program offered a different way of dealing with this problem. Thus we produced some guidance on how to display the old and new emails in one list for each mail client we were familiar with. See the last question above for links to these very short guides.
Posted by Jill Shacklock, on 09/06/2012 at 13:18
I thought I’d send you some feedback on behalf of my colleagues, who all really dislike this new email system, which is more difficult to use than the original. Finding someone by their first name involves selecting from a much longer list of names, and also requires the sender to know about shortened first names – eg Antony/Tony. The list of names produced are also not consistently ordered, producing a confusing mix of first and surnames. A further problem occurs when looking for past emails which may come from the same person but now appear under their surname and first name, depending on whether it was sent before or after these changes were introduced. None of us are sure what the advantages are meant to be, but there seem to be plenty of disadvantages.
Posted by Simon Heath, on 09/06/2012 at 12:21
Hello. Just a thought re uisng 'first name first' in address book is that people's first names as commonly used doesn't always correspond to that contained in the 'offical' address. Eg 'Debbie'- Deborah. This is just one example, as I have experienced elsewhere. Whereas, Smith, Jones etc doesn't get 'corrupted'. Regards Mike
Posted by mike ottley, on 09/05/2012 at 20:42
Finding the change really unhelpful when trying to find people on the system as if they don't use their official name e.g Sue/Susan/Susie, William/Will/Wills/Bill, Rebecca/Becca/Becky. you can't find them without going into advanced search with their family name. I am sending emails to lots of students and the changes have added considerably to this task. Please advise
Posted by Sue Johnson, on 07/25/2012 at 14:29
Re: 'What difference will this make? - adding a line to email signatures...' Are you able to supply a standard line that we can add to our signatures to explain this please? It'll be better for our external-facing continuity if we could all call the same tune... Many thanks for the initiative!
Posted by Lara Lewington, on 07/10/2012 at 13:54
Richard, the format of messages from external contacts is specified by their email service and not ours, so won't be changing.
This could be in 'surname, first name' order but an increasing number of organisations use the 'first name, last name' order.
So yes, you may still continue to receive messages from some externalcontacts with their surname first, but most will probably be displayed with first name first.
Posted by Jill Shacklock, on 04/30/2012 at 13:11
Will external mail still arrive by surname, and if so, we will then have an inbox mixing first and surnames? Will externally sent e-mails from my colleagues arrive by their surname? Thanks.
Posted by richard royce, on 04/30/2012 at 13:02
A welcome change, thank you - might mean I receive fewer emails starting 'Dear Zara'...
Posted by Joanna Zara, on 04/30/2012 at 09:50
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