The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a world-leading center for health research and postgraduate education. Founded in 1899, the university’s mission is to improve health around the globe through the pursuit of excellence in research, postgraduate teaching and advanced training in public health and tropical medicine.
To drive engagement with prospective students, investors, staff and alumni, LSHTM needed to align its digital strategy more closely with its high-calibre reputation. This meant delivering an intuitive user experience that enabled every audience to find the information that matters, fast.
“From a user point of view, the website looked old-fashioned, it was difficult to find the information you wanted quickly, and much of the content was out of date,” LSHTM’s Chief Information Officer Jon Faulkner said. “From a management point of view, it was difficult to make sure that we had a regular stream of relevant content and maintain the website, not least because our support was based in the U.S. with a significant time difference.”
Higher education institutions not only depend on digital to increase brand awareness, but also to help drive student applications and further research opportunities. However, an outdated CMS prevented LSHTM from building an engaging experiences for users that inspired action. In addition to conflicting and inconsistent navigation patterns, the old site lacked a unified content strategy, which resulted in a stale experience for prospective students, faculty and donors.
Internal teams were also burdened by a laborious content authoring experience. LSHTM needed to provide a flexible design and technology framework to improve the efficiency of its digital team. LSHTM knew its website wasn’t making the grade, so it asked Acquia and digital agency Domain 7 to build an engaging experience for all audiences with Drupal 8 and Acquia Cloud.
Through an emphasis on design thinking, Domain7 helped LSHTM kickoff the development by talking to real users to inform site design and implementing a test and learn approach. This allowed LSHTM to build a flagship site with Drupal 8 that makes it easy for internal teams to build intuitive and premium experiences for users. After consolidating its technical systems on Acquia Cloud, the team at LSHTM was empowered to focus on creating meaningful experiences for users, instead of worrying about website maintenance and reliability.
LSHTM’s experience with Acquia and Domain 7 has also transformed how the university is looking to integrate digital into its programming moving forward. In addition to a new flagship site, LSHTM is also investing in a new intranet, building a technology service desk for students and implementing augmented reality in its laboratories.
“Domain7 and Acquia have the right credentials in terms of infrastructure, people, skill set and support to help us solve these issues. We now have clear objectives, outcome-driven comms and status updates, and so far, Domain7 and Acquia are delivering beyond expectations in terms of design and development,” Faulkner said. “The entire team are professional, responsive, adaptive and innovative — and I’d recommend them to anybody looking to execute their digital strategies more effectively.”