The project

When global leaders in education and research, the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), told us they wanted more emphasis placed on their thought leadership in the public sector, we knew we’d need to build a website that put their content first.

ANZSOG’s slice of the internet would need to flexibly showcase their core offerings: Professional development programs for mid-senior level executives working in government, particularly their Executive Master of Public Administration, events and workshops, and their impactful public sector research affecting everyday Australians and those further afield.

And, so we went to work.

image of old website


Total page views
up 26.84%

Mobile page
views up 354%

 icon showing 39% increase

The design

As such immense organisations, education institutions sometimes struggle to build easy-to-use, warm, welcoming websites. Any university student from the past 20 years—perhaps up until recently—will be familiar with the labyrinthine navigation and the laboured use of academic language found on these websites.

The shift away from ANZSOG’s clinical design started with an injection of colour. It may seem trivial, but it's truly amazing how a few choice colours can not only improve usability, but also make a website seem more welcoming.

Then we added people — the faces of the students, professors and event attendees who had gained so much from ANZSOG. And we weren’t done with imagery. We waved goodbye to academic speak with infographics that explained or summarised large blocks of text.

But the real power of the design came with the customisable homepage which gives ANZSOG the power to control the arrangement of their content depending on what they want to showcase — whether it's their news, research, or events.

image of anzsog new design

The Solution

image of Anzsog new website

ANZSOG’s ultimate goal for their website was to position themselves strongly as thought leaders for education in the public sector. That meant focusing on content and making it more available.

So, we spoke to their people. A lot of key stakeholders — from the people managing the flagship masters program to the alumni and workshop teachers. We met one-on-one or conducted workshops all so we could understand ANZSOG’s users and the organisation's exact needs.

This process lead to an entire restructure of ANZSOG’s information architecture (IA) to put users first.

Previously, ANZSOG were using four websites to do everything their new website does. They had a main site, one for their research, a site for organising events and another for a conference program they held. Stakeholders told us this made ANZSOG difficult to connect with and it meant a lot of ANZSOG’s brilliant content was not easily accessible.

image of anzsog responsive websiteimage of anzsog new responsive websiteimage of anzsog  responsive website
image of anzsog new responsive website

We scrapped the four sites and now they just have one main site, which remarkably has a smaller navigation bar than previously — thanks to the custom search function we built using our search builder, Sphinx Search.

This powerful new search function offers up results on events, research or programs if they are under the same category. It's cross pollination at its best. If a user is looking for some specific research, they might also see a related event they’d like to attend — this just didn’t work with four different websites.

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Tech talk

The ANZSOG project was more than just a top to bottom reconstruction of their existing website, it presented ANZSOG with an opportunity to integrate a new CRM with their muscular new website.

ANZSOG’s thought leadership is strengthened by the events and workshops they run and the research they conduct. The Salesforce integration would help these arms of ANZSOG excel.

So, how did we do it? Well it's simple — we built a custom Joomla component that creates a REST-style API, allowing ANZSOG’s Salesforce developers to push content directly to Joomla in real-time. In other words… we built a component allowing ANZSOG to streamline payments for their events through Salesforce’s CRM, which is integrated with their overall finance system.

The beauty of the integration is also that Salesforce captures user information, which allows ANZSOG to follow up on leads and reach out to those showing an interest in their offerings.

But the best bit is we built it with flexibility and reusability in mind, meaning any future CRM-to-Joomla integrations for ANZSOG would be easy to implement.

And if you thought the integration would be messy as users change between Salesforce and ANZSOG’s website, we had a solution there, too. We built a Single Sign-on (SSO) for Joomla, allowing ANZSOG users to log into the system using their Salesforce credentials. Giving users a smoother experience when transitioning between the site and Salesforce.

Position your organisation as thought leaders

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