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A new Morley College London

In late 2020, we launched a new flagship website for Morley College. Working closely with staff from across the college, we overhauled both the design language and the technical infrastructure.

A growing digital estate

Morley College serves a large and diverse student population across London. Notably it caters to a large cohort of adult learners. In addition, a recent merger with Kensington and Chelsea College had increased the college’s 16-18 provision drastically. The project team needed a deep understanding of user groups and their differing objectives and behaviours in relation to the website.

SMILE conducted a research phase including stakeholder interviews, surveys with internal and external users and competitor research. The culmination of this process was a series of user stories. These supremely powerful sentences helped to drive design direction and provide measures of success for testing design patterns. We consulted throughout on content, design and technical matters.

Our design process began with wireframes to better understand user journeys and how to tailor design patterns effectively. A suite of UI components were created, enabling pace and consistency. Finally click-hotspots, loading animations, scroll behaviours and state changes were added. The result was a true-to-code clickable prototype which was put through its paces in a series of user tests. The results of these tests helped in validating design choices before any code was written.

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Turning vision into reality

Morley utilises Unit-e to manage their course database. Our engineering team wrote and executed an extensive and complex integration plan in conjunction with the college’s MIS team. Morley had experienced downtime issues with their old website. Their course listings and application portal were often unavailable. The new integration with Unit e utilised SMILE’s course management system, OnCourse. Doing so ensures that even when Unit-e experienced downtime, the website remained fully online.

The new Morley College website is hosted on SMILE’s Happy Press infrastructure. We continue to offer ongoing support and maintenance. In addition, a creative services retainer is in place. Each month, SMILE analyses site performance, helping the college to meet their strategic targets through continual evolution.