Delivering a world-class digital experience in higher education



Deeson partnered with the University of Derby to design and build a bold new website as the first step in an overarching digital transformation programme which aims at making Derby the most accessible university in the UK.

The challenge:

Standing out in the ultra-competitive higher education marketplace

The University of Derby was undertaking an ambitious and wide-ranging digital transformation programme with the aims of further growing student recruitment, diversifying income streams, and helping to support its ambition of becoming the most accessible university in the UK.

They needed a true digital partner to help them in the first step of this journey: developing a new website that would appeal to a wide range of local and international audiences: from prospective students and their parents, to businesses that look to the University for research and consultancy projects.

The solution:

Close collaboration on a daring new website

Deeson worked in close collaboration with the internal team at the University, and with the external branding agency, to build a daring new site. Adopting an audience-centred approach they conducted an in-depth programme of research which ensured that the needs of each target audience were catered for.

Bold new design solutions were arrived at by guiding the University’s internal team through an intensive three-day design sprint. Extensive user testing throughout development ensured that accessibility needs were well catered to, while content workshops were used to develop strategy, governance, and workflows to ensure consistent, high-quality content at launch and in the future.

The outcome:

Exceptional experiences and a huge boost to student recruitment

The new website was developed and launched in an impressive nine months, which included auditing 10,000 pages of content and reducing these to 3,000 at launch in July 2018.

The new website immediately contributed to the University’s most successful recruitment and clearing period to date. Sitemorse INDEX also rated the website as providing the best visitor experience out of more than 300 higher education sites in the UK for three consecutive quarters.

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