Established in 1912, the London School of English is the world's oldest accredited English language school, who have developed a trusted reputation across a world-wide network of agents and local schools as being a premier place to study english.
Whilst The London School of English already had an established website which contained a wealth of information, this was poorly organised and was difficult to use due to poorly thought out content structure and organic growth where sections simply grow out of control. From a design perspective the website was no longer presenting the London School of English appropriately, appearing old fashioned and behind the times.
The brief was therefore quite simply to completely redesign the website from both a design and information architecture perspective, simplifying the users journey into the website, whilst also instilling a new visual design that embodied the heritage of the London School, whilst presenting a fresh and modern look & feel.
One of the main challenges in the project was the improvement of the information architecture. Whilst the existing website contained a wealth of content and information acting as a real differentiator, the shear volume of information and resources was getting in the way of effectively communicating with visitors as the website had over 17 top level sections across multiple navigation menus.
Whilst it would have been easy to simply propose cut down the content, culling this to be more manageable structure, the reality was that this would have 'thrown the baby out with the bath water' and that we really needed to keep almost all the legacy content. Restructuring the sitemap was both a practical and political challenge as the existing content and internal views regarding how things should be, meant this was not simple or straightforward.
Another challenge is that the London School targets two very different sectors - the 'business english' for professionals who are looking for a more serious and focused study programmes, as well as the younger english course visitors, who not only need to be sold on the school, but also that London is the destination for them as there are may locations they could decide to study in.
The final challenge is not only building and restructuring a building a large website, but doing this across many languages, and managing the translation overlays in an effective manner.
The result is obviously a better looking website - after all it would be worrying if this was not delivered in a redesign, but the key aspects to highlight are:
- A dramatically simplified information architecture - reducing 17 top level navigation points down into three key menu items focusing the uses journey into the content.
- A refreshed visual design, which presents the London School in a fresh and vibrant manner, whilst retaining both the tradition and heritage behind the school.
- A greatly enhanced mobile experience, which was enhanced by the improved information architecture
- A 45% increase in visitor numbers as the website helped increase the London School of English online reach
- A 40% increase in page views as visitors use the resource to research London as a destination
- A number of web design awards and nominations
London School of English was awarded a Distinction in the Education category from the Communicator Awards along with a Silver Horizon Award in the Consumer Information category.