Lucy Cavendish is an inclusive and friendly College that admits students from under-represented and non-traditional backgrounds – particularly those individuals who want to ‘make a difference’ in our societies and those who want to address global challenges.
The user’s perspective
Mobas was appointed to redesign and develop a brand new visually attractive website for the College that primarily increased the number of appropriately qualified applicants. The website also needed to serve a number of other key audiences.
The client was very immersed in their internal knowledge, so understanding the College’s entire proposition meant we had to work closely with our target audience to appreciate the challenges all of the different users would face so we could create a precise digital strategy for the end user.
Simplified user journeys
Our digital team started by conducting qualitative research by interviewing students from the College to get a more detailed understanding of the content and information they want and need from a College website – both as a prospective student and as an existing student. Working from a real user’s point of view highlighted some downfalls in the existing user journey, which allowed us to think differently about the information architecture of the new website.
Combining qualitative user research with real user data from Google Analytics, we were able to propose a simpler but more focused website that utilised prominent calls-to-action to direct the users around the site to key content they were initially searching for.
Modernised look and feel for an 800-year-old University
The brief required our design team to break the ordinary of design for academics. Our design team got to work exploring vibrant colour palettes, contemporary and modern web layouts, along with a brand new corporate typeface for the college. The challenge was striking the balance between appearing progressive while maintaining the connection to the 811-year history of the University of Cambridge. Clean and minimal was the theme, allowing the impressive imagery to portray a balance of diversity and ambition.
Flexible content management
One of the key objectives set out in the brief was for the website to be powered and controlled by a content management system. Drupal 8 was the perfect fit, allowing content editors to enjoy easy content editing. Content editors in Drupal 8 can easily edit content such as adding images, edit text, create new pages and content, and relate specific content to other areas of the site.
Real user evaluation
Once development was complete and content was finalised and populated onto the site, a pre-live version of the site was shared with a sample target audience. We conducted a detailed survey of the website to ensure that all of the project requirements had been met and were satisfactory with the target audience – an excellent method to ensure your website meets the needs of your users. The survey was targeted at 155 young people between 16 and 18 who were intending to go to university. The positive results from the survey validated our approach to research and strategy, always ensuring that the user’s needs must be understood in detail before any planning or design work can take place.