Bespoke web design & development
Jesus College is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges working within the University of Oxford community. They required a website to modernise their web presence and create an infrastructure to organise information for each web user and stakeholder.https://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk
Developed an on-brand web presence that modernised the look and improved the usability of their website.
Created user journeys for specific user groups and structured the site accordingly.
Built a user-friendly admin space and continue training staff to use the site and optimise it with our hosting & support services.
Jesus College’s website was large and hard to navigate. It housed a lot of information for many stakeholders – parents, faculty staff and students. It was challenging to use and an inefficient way of finding information. Equally, it was difficult for site admins to manage the website as the backend area was dated and unwieldy.
The website also looked dated and needed to be modernised in line with the Colleges new Northgate development in central Oxford – a state of the art research and educational facility owned and managed by Jesus College.
The website needed modernising, but to also match the prestige and reputation of Oxford University. We needed to design an engaging platform that appealed to new users and upheld the values of academic excellence, learning, openness and inclusion.
The key was to create linear user journeys for all stakeholders – enabling users to find what they needed in just a few clicks. Information needed to be easy to add and manage and consistent across the site.
Research & analysis
Our project team, including the dedicated Project Manager, looked at websites of other higher-educational establishments with similar goals to Jesus College – presenting large amounts of information to specific groups and attracting students – and shared them with the College’s staff. It enabled us to understand out what they liked and disliked and helped establish priorities for the new website.
We sent questionnaires to Jesus College staff to learn what was important to them, who the key audiences were and what they wanted to get out of the website. We then held meetings with these staff members to establish goals for the project.
The Project Manager and design team used information from the research stage to create a sitemap – a visual tool that outlines the site’s structure and how pages connect.
Once the sitemap was agreed, we created interactive wireframes of key pages to show page structures. We build wireframes using the latest online tools that make it easy to share and provide feedback. This was particularly useful when many were working from home during the pandemic, as we could receive instant feedback from the Jesus team about what they liked and what needed refining.
The most important parts of the project were visual – i.e. upholding their brand, developing aspects to be more modern and ensuring a good user experience by optimising layout and structure.
The Alberon design team created design concepts such as a mock-up homepage and
developing aspects of the brand. For example, we added a contemporary lilac shade to the brand pallet, which mirrored the wisteria within the quadrants of the College. These design ideas were shared with the project team for feedback, using a tool that allowed them to interact with the designs and add feedback directly onto the pages.
Once we had agreed on the structure and design of the website, we could build a website that met their objectives and was easy for the administrators to manage. We created bespoke blocks that make it easy for the administrators to create pages and add content. We used their existing images to populate the website and complement the user experiences across all sections.
The website has modernised Jesus College’s web presence, with a design that upholds its prestigious reputation and complements the ever-modernising University ethos. The modern look and feel of the website give the brand more personality, but it remains a site befitting of one of the oldest Oxford colleges. It is another platform ready to help celebrate the opening of their Northgate project and 450th Anniversary.
The website is now easier to navigate, with clear user journeys for specific stakeholder groups, who can now find relevant information quickly and easily. The simple editor blocks and navigation in the backend admin area of the website make it easy for staff to update. They can move content, add images and create new pages as and when they are needed.
We continue to host and support the website.