Royal Holloway, University of London, has launched a new website to better communicate its purpose and the opportunity it offers to current and prospective students in the UK and overseas.
Developed and built by Splendid Unlimited, in addition to meeting the needs of potential students, the new digital platform meets the needs of other identified audiences for the university, including alumni, research collaborators, and potential partners looking to use Royal Holloway’s outstanding location for conferences and events.
The site is designed to take audiences on a journey through life at Royal Holloway, enabling it to bring to life the world class research carried out by leading academic, the university’s commitment to inspirational teaching and the unique community feel of the university. To achieve this, the site makes extensive use of video, strong images and is built to be mobile first.
Splendid Unlimited, the digital transformation specialist in Unlimited Group, were appointed by Royal Holloway in February 2017, and the newly launched site provides a consistent and immersive digital experience across the university's online content.
Splendid Unlimited followed its user-centred design process, matched with extensive user testing, to ensure it delivered on the brief. This allowed the agency to identify a pattern-based design system as the approach best able to deliver the flexibility needed to support the identified audiences.
Ben Ireland, Head of Experience at Splendid Unlimited, said: “Royal Holloway has a long and distinguished history which influences its unique culture. Our challenge was to ensure this project captured both that history and the university’s place as one of today’s world leading education institutions.
“Expressing a brand like Royal Holloway needs careful consideration, and to ensure we were on point, we undertook several rounds of customer research, concepting and design evaluation, which proved to be invaluable.
“We learned a lot, and the resulting site experience is an exciting representation of the impressive repertoire Royal Holloway provides to students, academics and the wider community.”
James Dodd, Head of Digital at Royal Holloway, said: “We have achieved a solution that supports a large number of CMS users with multiple different privileges and accountability.
“The new site has contextual navigation that allows for a fast user experience and for relevant content to be found quickly by the users.
“We’ve included the Google custom search engine to allow for familiar search behaviours, but also added a faceted search experience that delivers the right search results to users.
“Another key objective of the digital transformation was to enable the Royal Holloway team to manage and maintain the site on an on-going basis. So a training programme was run in parallel with defined staff, content creators and technical support, to ensure they were fully up to speed with the new platform.”
To make certain the site’s content was both appropriate and remained fresh, Splendid worked in close collaboration with the Royal Holloway content team to audit the previous site’s 14,000 pages and align these with the new content experience strategy.
This then formed the brief for the content that needed to be rewritten or created from scratch. The Royal Holloway client team were based in the Splendid office for several days a week throughout the project, delivering on the stated project intent of ‘one team’.