How to build a full-blown digital platform for a top Israeli university?

Industry
  • Education
Services
  • Digital strategy
  • Architecture and modeling
  • Website development
  • Migration
  • DevOps
Technology
  • Drupal 8
  • React

TL;DR

  • Strong flexible digital experience foundation - Drupal 8
  • Components based UX architecture - Atomic design & Storybook
  • Enhanced conversion using commerce-like experience
  • Portable catalog web app

The challenge

Going for a full rebrand move + rebuilding from scratch your primary leads engine website is not an easy thing to do. Its even harder when its a big organization having tenths of websites scattered. So imagine how hard it is when you are one of the top 4 universities in Israel.

Well that was the challenge Bar Ilan University (BIU) faced at the end of 2017. So they called us in.

  • Compartmental organizations’ dilemma
    Should we place the product or the organization first? Which should have the front stage? Main menu, homepage and lobby pages are the most expensive website real estate - it may serve the university degrees and tracks information OR it may expose the organization departments activities.
  • Conversion
    The website primary goal is to attract potential students and have them registered. What would be the best strategy to achieve this goal?
  • Compliance
    Any university, especially a leading one, is an attractive target to hacking attacks. How to build the website in a foolproof way from security and privacy point of view.
  • Content quantity and quality
    Content volume is huge. Legacy website was holding tenth thousands of pages. And on top of that the capturing right the information architecture is not trivial.

The Solution

Our experience shows that especially on large-scale projects as in this case, the customer ability at early stages of the project to foresee the complete requirements set is limited.

Nonetheless, it was crystal clear that with the evolvement of the organization’s digital presence and transformation more and more needs will arise.

Thus the solution had to suffice both short and long term goals:

Short term goal - An innovative site that offers an optimal and modern user experience. An effective and high-quality “customer journey” for the university’s target audiences.

Long term goal - A strong and flexible digital platform that will provide a solution years ahead for the digital development of the organization’s digital presence and transformation.

Whereas the customer was mainly focused on the short term goal, our responsibility as the professional partner was to cover the long term goal as well.

In specific case Drupal 8 was an easy choice as it provides exactly this - a strong foundation allowing the extra flexibility and extremely high compliancy.

Whereas the customer was mainly focused on the short term goal, our responsibility as the professional partner was to cover the long term goal as well. In specific case Drupal 8 was an easy choice as it provides exactly this - a strong foundation allowing the extra flexibility and extremely high compliancy.

But that was not enough. We took it a step further by deciding to go for a UX architecture termed Atomic Design. This decision in conjunction with the Storybook foundation, allowed us to expedite the creation of new templates. Actually the templates structure have become so flexible that in some cases the University personnel can handle new requirements for different structures on their own.

The third substantial piece of the solution was the realization that the user journey can be built on certain commerce idea and principles. The catalog was born…

Building that piece using advanced JS foundations (react.js) allowed unique user experience that pulled a lot of excitement from within the organization and outside of it. This application is the heart of the conversion funnel thus its critical for the organization digital success.

Reach Out