The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and ranks among the world’s top 100 universities. It has a long research tradition and in recent years its annual research funding is nearly £200m.
Philiastides Lab is a research group at the University of Glasgow. The group studies the neuroscience of decision-making, focusing on perceptual and value-based decisions using multimodal neuroimaging. The Lab’s general research approach relies heavily on the fusion of two major disciplines—cognitive neuroscience and engineering—while their work involves the use of powerful computational models, multivariate data analysis techniques, neuroimaging and the most advanced research techniques to uncover latent brain states and contribute to the decoding of behavioural and neural data.
The Philiastides Lab team wanted to create a brand new website for the group in order to present their team, publications, research and open research positions and to inform both their target audiences (funding groups, researchers and PhD students) and the relevant stakeholders (the University of Glasgow and the related academic departments). In their efforts, they faced the major challenge of creating something that was both fresh, user-friendly and compelling—to appeal to funding groups and non-scientific audiences—and professional, specialized and unique—to appeal to top research fellows and PhD students for recruitment purposes. Given its highly specialized, scientific and quantitative character, the Lab seeks to recruit the best researchers in the field.
A website is an integral element of a client's organizational strategy and objectives. As such, it should be 100% bespoke to serve the specific business needs, objectives and target audiences’ digital behaviour.
Over the years we have created a web design and development process that is efficient and enables the client to fully and effortlessly participate in and engage with the project. Following this procedure, we focused not only on the core audiences with which the lab was already interacting, but also on those with which the lab wanted to attract and influence. To this end, we conducted extensive business analysis in order to define the needs of the audiences and the specific attributes of the Lab that should be highlighted in order to appeal to these audiences. With the business analysis results in place, we set to work on creating the low fidelity designs, the sitemap and the information architecture of the website. Using the latest UX/UI knowledge and techniques, we ensured that the user’s journey would be easy, intuitive and practical to navigate
In the next stage, we worked together with the Lab in order to create the content that would be informative, useful and appealing to the different target audiences. We needed to find a balance in the tone of voice that would be applied across the website to suit the specialist and non-specialist alike. We faced a similar challenge with the visual design. The design not only needed to be modern, fresh and impressive, but it also needed to serve the findings of the business analysis, the information architecture and the Lab’s objectives.
Once we finalised all of the above, we proceeded with the development of the website, making sure that the coding backbone is solid and can lead to a reliable, highly functional and responsive website. An important aspect of the development, which is often overlooked, is a user-friendly Content Management System (CMS). We created a custom-built CMS that took into consideration the most forgotten users—the internal users. This ensured that the Lab’s team would be able to update and maintain the website content quickly and easily.
The final stage encompassed substantial testing and the set-up of relevant analytics tools that would help the Lab’s team to track relevant website traffic metrics.
The Philiastides Lab new website is a highly functional, responsive and visually appealing website that has, since its launch, received praise from the academic community of the University of Glasgow. The Lab’s team—making the most of the simple-to-use website CMS—has since frequently updated the website’s content with job openings, research papers and news. Most notably, the new website has resulted in:
Through close collaboration, business analysis and technical acumen, the new Philiastides Lab website is a vehicle through which the group can present their valuable work.