A Drupal-Powered University Site Designed to Engage Diverse User Groups

University of Doha for Science and Technology

Image
University of Doha for Science and Technology header

The University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST), previously known as The College of the North Atlantic, is Qatar's first National Applied University offering applied Bachelor's degrees and Master’s degrees in addition to certificates and diplomas in various fields.

The UDST offers interactive, co-curricular vocational courses in STEM subjects from Engineering Technology to Health Sciences, Business Management and Information Technology. They have been growing year-on-year, with a current student base of over 3000.

 

Overview

The previous CNAQ site was built in 2005 and then migrated to Microsoft Sharepoint 2013. With the last update in 2015, the website was outdated and unsuitable for its diverse range of user requirements.

UDST chose Vardot to design a modern infrastructure and migrate their Sharepoint 2013 site to an optimized Drupal CMS, hosted on Microsoft Azure. As they were in the middle of a rebranding exercise, the new site was created in parallel, with the final designs tying the two processes together.

1400+

Content Pieces Uploaded to the Site

600

LDAP Integrated Users

99%

Reduction in Website Errors
Image
UDST Drupal 9 website overview

Key Functionality

  • Drupal 9 CMS, hosted on Azure cloud services.

  • Atomic design system for easy-to-use, component-based page building.
  • Solr Search, an enterprise-grade platform with custom search filters for each user group.
Image
University of Doha Student User Journey

Discovery Phase

To kick off the process, Vardot worked with the UDST and their customer groups in a series of discovery workshops. The discovery phase was important to understand what each user group needed from a higher education website.

This process covered a few key stages:

  • Workshops and interviews
  • User Journeys and Empathy Maps
  • Information Architecture
  • Wireframing
Image
University of Doha admin ux

This research-based work combined to create the framework for the new site’s improved user experience.

Image
Vardot Logo White

Trusted Partner

Our Acquia Certified Drupal 9 development and design solutions are trusted by the media industry and global enterprises alike. Don't believe us?

Read Their Reviews

Microsoft Azure Hosting

Vardot designed a new infrastructure for the UDST that enabled the creation of a digital platform with reduced page load times, improved user experiences, easy content administration and enhanced security.

As a long-term Drupal agency, we have extensive experience deploying university sites to Azure cloud hosting services. 

In addition, for increased security, we integrated Microsoft LDPA with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for single sign on (SSO) and staff directories.

Image
University of Doha Drupal 9 atomic design

Atomic Design

Drupal enables atomic design systems that are a super efficient and user-friendly way to create digital interfaces. Vardot’s designers created a custom range of reusable components, including: 

  • Buttons
  • Various content blocks
  • Interactive sliders
  • Quick link menu

These components were combined into a variety of pages tailored to meet specific user requirements and maintain a cohesive design language. 

In the future, the UDST content team can use the drag-and-drop Drupal Layout Builder to create, edit or publish pages built from their library of reusable components and templates.

Custom, Real-Time Search

The UDST site caters to six unique user groups, so it is pretty content heavy. An important part of a good user experience is custom content that is easy to find. To make relevant content quick and easy to get to, Vardot implemented Solr Search, a hyper-fast, full-text search platform. 

Users have the option to find information via a sticky ‘quick link’ menu, searching by keyword or refining search parameters by their group type. Results are delivered in real time, making the search process accurate and fast.

Image
UDST Drupal 9 Solr search

The Results

With a modular Drupal site customized to engage each of their unique user groups, state-of-the-art information architecture, and an engaging user interface, the UDST has an easy-to-maintain CMS that enables them to scale with their audience and deliver an unprecedented user journey. Take a tour!