Turning 2,000 sites into one

Client: University New South Wales

Agency: Re Brand Agency

The brief

The university business is global and extremely competitive. Most of UNSWs revenue comes from overseas students and business partnerships, which renders the UNSW website business critical. The challenge was that UNSWs digital ecosystem had grown into sort of a Frankenstein with over 2,000 unique sites. Every faculty, school and research centre had built their own site, a majority of them were not user or mobile first. They had used over 20 different CMSs, some discontinued, which led to a lot of duplicated content and complicated and time consuming maintenance.

Our task was to replace the 2,000 site with one user and mobile first accessible UNSW web platform with a focus on recruiting new students.

My responsibilities as UX Director

  • Discovery workshops
  • Stakeholder management
  • User and stakeholder interviews
  • Design strategy
  • Personas & user journeys
  • IA, sitemap, tree testing
  • Page modelling & wireframing
  • Prototyping and user testing

Workshops with stakeholders; face-2-face and online

UNSW is a massive organisation with over 70,000 students and staff. In order to turn 2,000 sites into one, we needed input from a vast number of stakeholders. We divided the university into five stakeholder working groups and ran workshops, both face-two-face and half way through due to covid, online. The goal was to get everybody's wants and needs incorporated into the new web platform design, and ultimately ensuring a successful project.

IA, Navigation & Sitemaps

UNSW sitemap 3 1.0.pdf
UNSW sitemap 3 1.0.pdf

In order to make the site easer to navigate on mobile devices, we wanted to ensure that the IA to be flat with a maximum of three levels of navigating. For SEO reasons we went with a pillar page site architecture supported by topic clusters. I used Slickplan for sitemaps and performed user testing with Treejack .

Workshopping navigation paradigms. Audience-, Topic-, Task- or Search-based

Content design & Page modelling


With a flat IA structure a lot of content needs to sit on the pages. Above the page models from the project. (WIP)

Front door wireframes

UNSW City Home.pdf

UNSW will will have many front doors. Above is the wireframe of the the main homepage front door. The example illustrates the task to prepare it for a high degree of personalisation.