St Mary's University

Hearing all voices before redesigning the website

St Mary’s University Twickenham, home to over 6,000 students, has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence. It has been ranked as “outstanding” by OFSTED for teacher training and boasts Olympic-standard training facilities. Athletes from the University competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, winning six medals at the latter.

As with all higher education establishments, St Mary’s University uses its website as a first port of call to attract and recruit high caliber students.


UX Research, Interviews & Journey Mapping


Case study overview
Experience map for St Mary's University

The challenge

User research conducted by Akendi demonstrated that the website was underperforming on many levels, with users resorting to the “search” facility to find the required information, resulting in a poor experience. St Mary’s University needed to deploy a university-wide website that facilitated easy interaction to streamline online recruitment processes as well as provide an effective communications tool for other communications activities.

The Akendi team were proactive and adaptable in their approach to the project from the outset. The team came to the site several times to meet with our key stakeholders, hosted workshops for us and did a great job managing expectations of different parties and came up with a user experience plan that satisfied all concerned

Client quotation

Students at the campus

Our approach

The Akendi team worked closely the University’s different departments from the outset to ensure they were all equally represented and understood the objectives of the website redesign. They achieved this by holding a series of workshops with key stakeholders to ascertain their individual requirements.

Akendi also carried out a detailed competitor analysis of the site (to demonstrate its performance) and extensive user research to understand their pain points and frustrations. The findings were used to develop a detailed UX plan and a strategy for phased implementation of a user-friendly website.

The new website is intuitive and easy to navigate, resulting in a positive experience for students, staff and third-parties. Browsers can find the required information without using the search facility, speeding up the online enrolment processes, thus improving website performance. The new website is also being used to improve services for alumni students and develop corporate partnerships through the provision of intuitive menus and self-service applications.

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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.