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Accessible web development for Queen Mary University of London Alumni

the QMUL aluni homepage and logo

Case study brief: Queen Mary University of London alumni web design and development

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has a long, proud, and distinctive history dating back to 1785. It has a diverse and global community of over 200,000 alumni in more than 170 countries around the world.  

After previously working with HeX, and being impressed by our service, QMUL approached us in need of a new website. The alumni provide a lifelong link to the university, therefore, one important factor of this site was the need for interaction and support methods. API integration enabled online donations to raise funds for QMUL’s research highways, fund scholarships, and update their study and research facilities.

Bespoke Application Programming Interface (API) integration made this case study unique

QMUL wanted to provide ways for the alumni to support the university’s mission. As web development specialists, we created a PHP-based site that interacted with QMUL’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

We integrated bespoke APIs to allow for online payments, donations, and event bookings to take place. All of which seamlessly interacts with its audience and can easily be managed by QMUL.

Giving the alumni a chance to support future generations of students and researchers. 

The QMUL Alumni home page, displayed on a desktop monitor

an orange hexagon with the accessibility symbol inside

Web development activities delivered

Designing an accessible website with clear taxonomy

Our graphic designers built comprehensive sitemaps and interactive prototypes in iterative phases. This allowed time for feedback throughout each stage. 

Using line drawings, known as wireframes, we mapped out the site’s user journey. Incorporating clear user flow through strong taxonomy to drive the website. Implementing simplistic and user-friendly navigation throughout the site. 

Our designer then added styling and branding onto the wireframes. This brought the designs to life and allowed QMUL to envision their new website’s visual identity.

striking call-to-action blocks from the QMUL website with strong colours and imagery

We created a range of enticing call-to-action blocks with striking imagery. These blocks stand out on the page, clearly signposting and engaging with QMUL’s alumni. These content blocks steer users along a journey, presenting inspiring ways for former students to remain involved with the university. 

Bespoke API integration to support Queen Mary’s mission

Our team came up with a creative solution to streamline ways of giving to QMUL. We developed a range of bespoke site elements with integrated application programming interfaces (APIs). Making a unique way for the university’s thankQ CRM and Elavon payment portal to interact with the PHP-based website.

the QMUL Alumni giving page, displayed on a laptop

This integration allowed the university to set up ways of giving. Such as:

  • Setting up an annual fund
  • Leaving gift donations
  • The ability to book onto events online

With the APIs being managed within the university’s current CRM, we created an easy to administer payment and booking system. This was due to interaction through automated email receipts and the ability to access all site features within the same platform. 

Building a responsive and inclusive online platform

Every website that HeX develops has a responsive design, built with useability at its core. 

We ensured that the QMUL alumni site was scalable, to fit on varied screen resolutions, and accessible with assistive technology. Manually user-tested to make sure that the online experience is inclusive no matter what device or software someone may use.

We created an accessibility statement for QMUL alumni to display on their site. Showing their commitment to accessibility and that the site conforms with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA standards. 

a mobile phone displaying the QMUL alumni giving page

Upskilling content editors on maintaining an accessible site

We want site editors to feel confident in maintaining their new website and to do so in an accessible way. We provided in-depth training to the QMUL team. Teaching the site editors how to add web page content and use the back-end editor of the site. 

an orange hexagon with a presenting icon inside

Upskilling the team on:

  • Accessibility awareness
  • Website structure, layouts, content types, and multimedia
  • Understanding accessible forms
  • Language and readability
  • Introduction to accessible PDFs
  • Digital Marketing and social media considerations.

Ensuring the team can maintain an accessible site upon project completion. 

QMUL alumni web development impact and outcomes

Through the site’s clear signposting and enticing call-to-action blocks we’ve created a defined user journey. Allowing site users to easily identify areas of key information and the ability to interact directly with the platform.

QMUL logo
students sat on steps with a laptop smiling

Their site has been built with accessibility at its core, allowing all users to access the site’s features on any type of assistive technology.

We’ve empowered content editors through accessibility training, to maintain inclusivity into the future. 

Bespoke site features have enabled the university to create a legacy for future students. With users now being able to provide online donations and help fund the important research that the university undertakes.  

We look forward to working with Queen Mary University of London in the near future. 

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Ashfield District Council logo and home page

Ashfield District Council

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homefield college logo

Homefield College

Upon discovering that their website was not WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant, Homefield College contacted HeX to redesign and rebuild the Homefield website.