The University of Ulm offers its more than 10,000 students numerous courses of study in the faculties of medicine, engineering, computer science and psychology, mathematics and economics as well as natural sciences.
Since its foundation in 1967, the youngest university in Baden-Württemberg has experienced a remarkable upward trend. In 2017 it will be the best young university in Germany! This is confirmed by the ranking "THE 150 Under 50" of the British magazine "Times Higher Education" (THE). Worldwide, the University of Ulm is in an excellent 8th place this year.
The joint planning for a relaunch of the existing site uni-ulm.de began as early as 2016. Agile development methods helped the project team on both sides to meet both time and budget targets through constant mutual feedback and adjustment of the goals, in order to be able to go online promptly. To this day, we continue to adhere to this project management method in order to provide the website with new features and updates.
During the relaunch, all those involved focused on preserving the previous content as well as on minimizing downtime during the update in order to influence the more than one thousand editors in their work as little as possible. In addition to an update of the CMS (from TYPO3 version 6.2 LTS to 7.6 LTS and later to 9.5 LTS), the appearance of the site was also to be given a fresh shine for visitors.
In order to correspond to the user behaviour of students, employees and other interested parties, the university website is designed in a responsive design. It can therefore be used comfortably on the PC as well as on mobile devices such as the smartphone and tablet. In addition, the structure of the site has been streamlined and user-oriented access points for internal and external target groups have been created. The new website is of course barrier-free and scored excellently in the so-called BITV test.
The website was developed from scratch by the in2code university team and received a completely new design, with a special focus on the greater involvement of the faculties and the emphasis on the university character. Numerous, specially developed content elements can be used by editors in a targeted manner. A global TYPO3 categorization provides a comprehensive color scheme for page trees, page content, news - additionally with the different layouts for events and job ads - and further extensions.
The combination of LDAP with various other login methods - such as automatic IP-based login - posed a further challenge both in the frontend and with the large number of backend users.
In addition to the numerous new developments, a comprehensive migration concept was the focus of the project. Not only the update of TYPO3, but also the conversion from CSS Styled Content to Fluid Styled Content, the conversion to own content elements and the technology change from Templa Voila to Gridelements as well as a multitude of extension updates had to be mastered on schedule.
A sophisticated concept for software distribution enables a continuous development of the website as well as the possibility of a zero downtime deployment on three different servers provided by the university's computer center. The uninterrupted work of the editors will continue to be the focus of future software releases.
Prospective students can, for example, use a new function developed especially for the university: With the so-called study course finder, they can filter their desired course of study from the University of Ulm's range of offers with just a few clicks - including, of course, English-language offers as well as in-service training courses.
An individual interface to the Electronic Telephone Book of the University of Ulm enables the automatic import of contacts in order to output them on the website in different layouts for different purposes.