Our work

UCL

Redesigning the UCL Centre for Holocaust Studies website

Deliverables

  • Website Migration
  • Insight-led website design
  • Modular CMS-based web build with gated content
  • Transactional emails
  • Mailchimp and SendInBlue integrations

The challenge

UCL came to us with a challenge: to design, build and host a new website for the Centre for Holocaust studies.

Since 1991, the Holocaust has been a compulsory feature of the secondary school curriculum. Yet even among educators, myths and misconceptions are widespread and significant knowledge gaps remain.

The UCL Centre for Holocaust Studies exists to fix this by providing world-leading educational resources – resources that tackle misinformation, deepen our knowledge and confront enduring inaccuracies.

As the central resource hub for students and teachers, the website is essential to their mission. But it wasn’t fit for purpose.

Their existing site was very content heavy, with hundreds of unused pages and subpages and no clear hierarchy or messaging.

It was not at all user-friendly and didn’t logically direct users to the essential materials, research and training provided. With such a complex and sensitive subject, this was the opposite of what was needed.

It was clear to us that we’d have to simplify the content and develop an overarching narrative – one that focussed less on the teaching methodology and more on the how and why of holocaust education. From there, we could set about designing and building a whole new website.

That meant moving their existing WordPress site and completely overhauling the UX – design and content – without losing crucial data and functionality.

It was a big task, with a lot of moving parts. But we were more than up to it.

The solution

We proposed a solid, insight-led approach. Equipped with a wealth of resources provided by UCL, we set about doing our own primary research: speaking to education consultants, teachers, secondary school pupils – everyone who would be using the materials.

That research armed us with important insights. It told us what our audience wanted to see and how they wanted to see it.

We then had the tricky task of transforming a huge website and sitemap and transferring it into a whole new structure.

To do this, we designed a new website with a module-led approach. This meant that, rather than designing hundreds of individual pages, we could design a set of 40 content module templates – which can be filled with courses, historical sources, infographics, classroom materials, you name it. It also means that, in the future, the UCL team can easily update modules themselves.

We created a website with a sleek new look and feel, scaling back with a ‘less is more’ approach to content and brand. We pushed design boundaries whilst ensuring vital content was saved.

Finally, we got to the build – with a focus on functionality. This required us to retain all existing CMS data and make sure that teachers could continue to book courses and access resources.

What’s more, the site had to not only be fully optimisable across all devices, but be able to track user journeys, downloads and pathways.

Needless to say, it was a substantial job. But we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

The results

From day one, we’ve seen sustained, strong engagement with the website and its content.

In the last 30 days alone we’ve seen 4,500 new visitors!

That’s 4,500 more people equipped with the resources to tackle misinformation about the Holocaust, challenge inaccuracies and teach this essential subject to future generations.