Digital transformation to align with shifting organisational objectives and students' needs
The University of Salford embarked on a large-scale digital transformation project, integrating internal systems, implementing a new CRM and revisiting their digital presence. They were looking for a strategic and delivery-focused partner who could help them transform their public-facing website to meet the needs of a new generation of students and set them up for future success, as part of their wider digital strategy.
The strategy included a re-platforming of the current site, but importantly, unlocked an opportunity to revisit the overall experience and offering. With a focus on whether the site was still aligned with the organisation's objectives and students' needs.
With so many facets of the University managing disparate sections of the site over 100,000 unique pages had been created across multiple content management systems and microsites and the quality and integrity of the user experience had fallen behind as a result.
This, combined with the ever-competitive higher education marketplace all modern universities face, meant there was a huge opportunity to produce a platform that delivers for the organisation, students, parents, industry partners and the wider academic community whilst also positioning the University of Salford as a real innovator in the space.
We started by understanding exactly what the platform needed to deliver for the university. Conducting stakeholder interviews and insight gathering workshops across the institution; everyone from school heads, to prospective students were encouraged to feed into our overall strategy for the new platform.
“The previous website didn't make a positive impression on me.”
1st Year Undergraduate Student
Catch interviewed a broad cross section of students, prospective students and parents to understand what they wanted from the new platform. We garnered data and insights from the current site to help us highlight areas of improvement, as well as collecting new feature requests and suggestions from our focus groups.
“As a parent you want to know the practical info - you don't get this from your child so this is what you go online for.”
“We wanted to shift the site from an organisation-centric model to a user-centred experience.”
Catch and the University of Salford have successfully delivered an MVP of the new digital platform. A completely overhauled user-centric site architecture with an aggregated content engine built on Drupal 8 CMS gives the organisation maximum control over content, while also delivering an excellent user experience.
Since the MVP launched in beta, we've continued to deliver against our roadmap with exciting new features launching regularly. Watch this space!
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