A NEW WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH
When Chalmers University of Technology needed to modernize its website, it became a race against the clock. With an outdated version of SharePoint, whose support was about to expire, Nexer Maverick was given 12 months to develop a new website from scratch. All focus was directed towards January 2023, and the team worked intensively to create a modern and digital platform worthy of Chalmers.
During the beginning of 2022, Chalmers’ website was one of the last within the Swedish higher education world that had not yet been modernized. The site was based on an older version of SharePoint, whose support was about to expire. This posed a great risk to the entire website if any issues were to arise. With multiple legacy systems, a vast amount of content on the website, and inaccessible databases, the project team faced several challenges. It was necessary to both build the website from scratch technically, and create new content from the ground up. All of this had to be done within a tight timeframe.
The collaboration with Chalmers started six months earlier with a feasibility study and a mapping of internal and external needs. The feasibility study paved the way for an improved user experience, a new visual concept, a completely new headless CMS, and new technical architecture. Development and design were then initiated in close cooperation with the Chalmers team. With a consulting team consisting of 10 individuals in project management, development, solution architecture, UX design, visual design, testing, and accessibility, a new website was created from scratch. The project journey was marked by difficult prioritizations to meet the schedule and was conducted using an agile working methodology that allowed for adjustments to the solution during the course of the project to achieve optimal results.
Despite the challenging timeline, Nexer Maverick managed to deliver a brand new, modern website according to the established deadline. Today, Chalmers’ communicators have access to a user-friendly interface environment, while the website provides a sleeker, more modern, and more accessible experience for visitors. Even though the key features have been implemented, the website continues to evolve in terms of usability, functionality, and design – all to offer an even better user experience.
“We have been a large project team with expertise from Nexer and Chalmers. To meet the launch before the deadline, we needed to work agile, maintain a high pace, and make ongoing decisions regarding technology and user experience. I want to extend a big thank you to my outstanding project team for your unwavering commitment, endurance, trust, and ability to maintain a positive spirit and sense of humor from start to finish. Our focus on the goal and working together made us succeed.”
Anja Edgren, Consulting Manager and responsible project manager for the project from Nexer Maverick.
The Chalmers.se technical implementation mainly consists of a headless Umbraco, ElasticSearch, Apollo Server, and a Next.js frontend. Umbraco is a well-established and popular CMS that allows editors to customize the website structure. ElasticSearch combines the content from this CMS with other data from various Chalmers sources. Apollo Server creates a unified communication layer for the frontend and provides a smooth GraphQL interface with built-in authentication and caching. With Next.js server-side functionality, Chalmers gets a frontend that ensures high performance and a strong SEO foundation. Modern tools like Tailwind and TypeScript are also used, which speed up the development process and make the website easier to maintain. Together, these technologies form a modern, robust, and reliable website architecture.
· Internal interviews with experts
· Workshops with target groups
· Workshops with the project team from Chalmers
· Environmental analysis
· Analysis of existing website
· Project management
· UX design
· Visual design
· User testing