Pushing the Boundaries of HubSpot to Build a University's New Website

When a popular university started offering online courses, it knew it would need the help of an Elite HubSpot solutions partner to ensure everything ran smoothly. 

The university wanted to offer a powerful new way for its existing students to learn, as well as a fully customised application portal that would be easy to use for prospective students and recruitment staff alike. This would elevate its standing and help it to stay competitive while improving the student experience all the way from application to graduation. 

The team responsible for overseeing this transformation knew HubSpot’s data management, marketing tools, and CMS capabilities offered the functionality it needed to achieve this because it had been using the platform for around four years at this point. 

For the same reason, it also knew that to use those tools in the way it intended and to unlock their full potential, the team would be best serviced by a HubSpot solutions partner. Having worked with BabelQuest on and off for several years, it turned to us for expert support.

Setting a SMART goal

Having been briefed on the project, it quickly became apparent that one of the key aspects would be maintaining a balance between the client’s user requirements and the “ideal” end result, while balancing the capabilities of the technology available to them within the budget.

Given the time constraints in place (specifically the need for a quick go-live) we focused on creating a minimum viable product while adding to a wish list for future portal iterations.

Designed to stand out

Initially the university intended to use its existing branding. Midway through the project, however, the client’s goals changed, and with them came new branding requirements. 

We received an updated brand and style guide to use going forward, around which we revised our designs for presentation. This design dictated the button stylings, drop-down menus, radio buttons, accordion modules, and how the application form was paced.

Additionally, UX work went into making sure the application could be filled out in stages. 

Throughout the process, we set up open communication with the client, which included weekly progress meetings as well as ad-hoc calls as needed with the team’s developer.

The build

We designed and built a new website within the university’s existing partitioned HubSpot Enterprise portal. This new website also included an application portal that would allow potential students to apply for various courses and submit all the relevant documentation. 

The portal also streamlined how admissions advisers were able to review those applications, improving efficiency and generally making their working lives much easier. The entire application process was managed using HubSpot Deals.

The weekly meetings that we set up in the design phase were maintained throughout the build and included a change request list for the project’s many moving parts.

All web pages were built on a non-live domain within the portal until the content was loaded. This gave our client the chance to check that everything met their requirements before the pages went live.

Going live

After launching the portal, we turned our attention to the user experience. The team focused not only on the wish list items previously created but also on feedback from the user testing stage via a snag list.

“This project involved relatively new tools and capabilities in HubSpot,” says Gem Rug-Gunn, BabelQuest’s HubSpot platform consultant and team lead. “So it was a really exciting way to look at how we could do more with HubSpot for an application process beyond just a simple form and I could see so many other use cases unfolding as we did it.”

Looking back, other members of the BabelQuest team also noted the exploratory aspect of the project as a whole.

"It was a very interesting project to work on with multiple moving parts, layers of approvals, and many stakeholders,” says Laura Shelton, BabelQuest’s CMS project lead. “Learning how different parts of HubSpot can work together to become an application portal for a university website to showcase the courses and allow the admissions team to manage the applicants was truly eye-opening."

With a client from a sector so focused on learning and development, it’s perhaps fitting that the project took on such an innovative spin. Discovering new ways to use HubSpot is one of our specialities, so if you’re looking to push the platform’s boundaries to reach your goals and unlock HubSpot’s full potential, get in touch today — we’d be all too happy to help. 

Call us on 01235 313 555 or click the button below to learn more about our HubSpot services aimed at taking your organisation to the next level.


HubSpot CMS Scoping Template

Use our CMS scoping template to provide your HubSpot CMS development partner with exactly what they need to know to build your new website.