Make it Clear have worked with Cambridge University Press (the Press) on a range of projects and platforms for over 7 years to provide UX and digital support.
The Press is world-renowned as one of the oldest and leading academic publishing houses and Cambridge Assessment provides outstanding education programs and exams across over 170 countries. In October 2020, the University of Cambridge announced its intention to bring together its publishing and assessment operations to create a single organisation and on 1st August 2021, Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press began a new chapter as they formally became one organisation under the name Cambridge University Press & Assessment.
As Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment announced the news of their exciting merger, we helped the organisation in their first step to present their unified brand, by developing the new Cambridge University Press and Assessment corporate website.
As both entities already had well-established websites, the challenge was to combine the necessary elements from each, to create a website that represented the Press and Assessment as a collective.
It was vital that the new site successfully merged certain information from the existing, separate Press and Assessment websites. Therefore, we began our work by mapping the existing ‘corporate’ structure of each website (about us, governance, legal & privacy etc.) and reporting on areas to be migrated. Working from this we proposed a new information architecture (IA). As anticipated we found some differences in terminology and language used across the two sites; in response, we documented guidance for the new site building on the existing ‘terminology and naming’ report we had previously created for use across all of the Press’s platforms, and proposed nomenclature for use within the navigation structure.
The IA and navigation of a website is at the core of its usability for users. Therefore we conducted card sorting to gain initial feedback and sense check whether the proposed IA was intuitive. From analysed outcomes we then worked with the Press and Assessment team to refine and confirm this before developing wireframes.
We always recommend usability testing of prototypes to gain vital insights from users which can be easily incorporated and iterated upon whilst still in the design and development phase. In this instance, as the new site needed to contain specific information from an organisational standpoint and remain intuitive for users, we conducted remote usability testing of a wireframe prototype with both internal teams and prospective users from across the world.
Outcomes of the usability testing were then analysed and shared with the Press and Assessment team for discussion before iteration and finalisation of the wireframes. Working together with the Press and Assessment team we developed the UI of the new site based on the combined organisation’s brand architecture, bringing the designs to life and representing the new chapter. Alongside this work we also created a stylesheet. This included establishing guiding UX and UI principles on areas such as typography, buttons and icons in a design system. This will ensure that as the site grows and Press and Assessment platforms continue to merge, all instances will be aligned and representative of the new brand.
Finally, throughout the end stage design process we worked together with a development partner to provide UX input for a smooth and successful website build.
Take a look at the newly launched Cambridge University Press and Assessment corporate website here: https://www.cambridge.org/. As the website has recently gone live, we look forward to receiving results and feedback in due course.
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