Harper Adams website

Along with writing copy, I’ve often been asked to consult on the content strategy and user experience. I love this work because it gets to the heart of what I like to do most — make things clearer for users. There’s no place more ripe for this kind of work than university websites, so I was delighted when Harper Adams University asked me to help them out.

What was the brief?

Harper Adams were at the very early stages of complete brand overhaul. As part of that, they were looking to redesign their website. Like many universities, their website had grown exponentially over time, with the information architecture, navigation and overall UX struggling to keep up.

I was asked to come on board before code was committed to look at the website’s current structure, assess content and navigation, and make recommendations on how they could be improved.

What did I do?

Through a series of workshops with Harper’s marketing team, I helped them to identify audience personas and user journeys. Using these we were able to view the current website in a new light — asking at every step of the journey if the current content and structure helped users get what they wanted.

From there, we began a complete content audit, identifying what was out of date, duplicated and needing to move to make more sense to users. We were also able to identify new post types and ways of presenting information that informed the website’s development.

Finally, be defining a new structure and assessing the need for every existing page, we were able to dramatically reduce the number of pages on the website and come up with a navigation that worked for every audience, as well as a number of handy ‘persona menus’.

Screenshot of navigation menu on Harper Adams University’s website

What was the reaction?

Following on from my workshops with Harper’s marketing team, I was asked to come on board during the website’s development to help re-write content for key sections of the website. Along with web content, I worked closely with Bond & Coyne to content for Harper’s new prospectus. Through this I was able to give Harper a consistent voice that worked throughout all aspects of their new brand.

Spread from Harper Adams University’s 2017 prospectus