Studentsamskipnaden in Trondheim (Sit)

Lightning-fast development of new content structure

It started as a transfer job between two CMSs, but was turned into a total revision of the content structure for six business areas and three study cities. All this without increasing the budget. But how?

SIT front page

Studentsamskipnaden (student union) in Trondheim (Sit) is a large organization serving students in Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesund. The organization consists both of several departments and business areas, including health, housing, food and beverage, kindergartens and gyms.

Sit contacted Increo in late summer 2023, with the desire to transition to the CMS solution Sanity. From before, they had an outdated version of the platform Drupal that unfortunately did not allow itself to be updated and further developed, and now they had to have a new solution in a short time. Increo therefore had to assist with a migration, or a copying and migrating of their existing content from Drupal to Sanity.

In the course of the survey, Increo gained insights that identified several improvement needs in the site solution. A high proportion of so-called “technical debt” was in the way, and we therefore believed that it would be both easier and cheaper to develop a brand new website with a new content structure.

As I said so done. Sit.no is a large website with complex customer journeys, and after phases of content mapping, development and training, the new website was launched on 18 March.

A larger project with the same budget

The content of Sit's web pages was initially only going to be migrated from Drupal to Sanity. They nevertheless agreed with the proposal to rather re-develop all content, as long as the budget was complied with. For Increo, this meant that the team had to work smarter with the hours they had available. The budget was and remains the same, but smart choices were made along the way that benefited.

At the same time, Sit's websites are complex. They need to be user-friendly for multiple segments and different business areas. Employees with different levels of expertise, from webmasters to canteen employees, should be able to actively use the solution. In addition, students will experience the web pages as intuitive.

Example of color picker from the back

Solutions

Service design for webmasters and

The user experience of the end users is most important when designing a website. Sit's home pages will make it easy for the main users of the site, i.e. students, to navigate around and read about Sit's various study offers. At the same time, Increo wanted to create a publishing solution that worked well for Sit's many web editors. By focusing on creating an easy-to-use publishing tool, we made it easier for Sit to publish content that provides great user experiences for students. Thus, we create not just a website, but a work tool.

New content structure based on mapping

For Increo, the designers had to understand the content of Sit's web pages, and how to navigate their way around the old solution. Next, we separated out what content types, or building blocks, the pages consisted of. Finally, we combined the findings with the results from the needs mapping.

Mapping needs: What functions must a fitness center have? Group lessons, booking and membership, for example, are quite important. Increo started with blank sheets and laid up a brand new structure.

Continuous dialogue and training for many user groups

Good service design requires good dialogue. Increo has therefore had continuous contact with the users of the system to optimize naming, structure and functionality. Here we chose to divide the users into hierarchical groups as needed: students, individual employees from each department in Sit, and the webmasters. Such a division made it easier to plan the dialogue, as well as to organize training for Sitt's employees. The webmasters have an overall communication responsibility for each department. Individual employees of the departments should know how to publish up-to-date information and change their opening hours themselves. Students will use the website actively and intuitively.

Mockup of a selection of subpages in mobile format

Uncover -and avoid technical debt

Technical debt is an expression that appears when the CMS is not optimally adapted to the needs and work patterns of the company. This is rooted in human choices and rarely in technical errors. Too much technical debt makes the platform become like a patchwork of bad solutions. Over time, further development of the platform becomes a more expensive affair than simply restarting, such as Sit's Drupal solution. Therefore, Increo made a decision to re-build the solution in Sanity — a flexible CMS that is specially adapted for structural changes in content

Do you have a lot of technical debt, or do you want to figure out which CMS is right for you? Increo has been developing digital solutions for Norwegian companies since 1997, and is happy to talk about technology and innovation for your needs.

What can we help you with?

Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
Trondheim
morten@increo.no
/
976 90 017
Merethe Honne
Merethe Honne
Counsellor
Oslo
merethe@increo.no
/
928 87 311