Karel De Grote Hogeschool is the largest university college in Antwerp (Belgium), offering study programs to more than 12.000 students in 13 campuses across the city – mainly professional Bachelor degrees, but also academic Master degrees, postgraduates and extra trainings. The university college focuses on highquality, accessible and user friendly education, supporting its students during the course of their university years.
Karel De Grote Hogeschool launched the previous version of its website (www.kdg.be) in 2010. As time passed, the college realized that its it website lacked focus on some important aspects of the organization.
The goal of the college’s website redesign project, for which it teamed up with AMPLEXOR, was to provide a facelift to the graphic design as well as content; ensuring that the new website would reflect the college’s new organizational structure and its basic principles. The new website was to be built responsively as well, to allow access by all users on any kind of device.
With this new website, Karel De Grote Hogeschool wanted to attract new students and make it easier for potential students to search through the catalogue of study programs.
The college’s previous website was built in Drupal 6. As support for that version would drop in March of 2016 and as the college desired more flexibility and a better user experience for the team managing its website, the organization, familiar and pleased with the Drupal platform, chose to develop its new site in the same content management system.
Drupal is a platform which easily integrates with diverse marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, or social media channels – an added value to the flexibility it offers.
At the start of the project, AMPLEXOR worked based on a functional analysis and designs delivered by a partner of Karel De Grote Hogeschool during a preliminary project stage. These analysis and designs were then converted into the eventual website, including small functional optimizations.
AMPLEXOR’s team followed the agile methodology in development sprints of three weeks. Prior to each sprint, a number of stories – descriptions of the functionalities to be developed, such as the search function– were selected. During the sprints the team of developers refined those stories. The AMPLEXOR team was in daily contact with the Karel De Grote Hogeschool team, who was able to test and evaluate new functionalities continuously during the sprints. At the end of each sprint, we did an acceptation test, in effect the final version of a functionality.
One of the goals of the new website was increasing its flexibility and ease of use for website managers, specifically when publishing study program information and facilitating searches in the study program offering.
AMPLEXOR created a unique solution in the Drupal back-end: by combining 12 component types, users can very easily build different page configurations. An administrator can, for example, choose to use a text component with a video component beside it on a certain page, and add a Google Maps component below. On another page, he can decide to recycle that exact configuration or choose an entirely new combination of component types, depending on the goal of that page.
Karel De Grote Hogeschool chose to give its website administrators that flexibility within diverse roles: