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Serco and The Defence Academy

Discover how we built a comprehensive content strategy for The Defence Academy.

Serco and the UK Defence Academy wanted to Prioritise the website’s educational course programme to increase revenues from this area of the business.

We redesigned existing information architecture and deliver a viable content strategy in order for Serco and the Defence Academy to achieve their goals.

The Challenge
Prioritise the website’s educational course programme.

The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom needed a website redesign that would cater for its broad target audience, which ranged from 16-year-old school leavers to middle-aged applicants seeking professional qualifications.

The potential user base is not limited to the UK, as the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom welcomes applicants from across the world to study.

The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom wanted to capitalise on their web traffic by reorganising site content to improve the visibility of their programme of courses and in turn increase the number of course registrations. The existing content approach did not support the goal of course conversions so this would need to be rethought for a coherent web experience.

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Our Solution
Redesign existing information architecture and deliver a viable content strategy.

The overall aesthetic of the site was updated to conform to other UK Government websites. We referred to the design as “simple but functional”, all of the information was available to the user in an easy and intuitive layout.

We created the “unified search” bar at the top of the home page, to search the entire site for all types of content, including courses, in as few clicks as possible. We made all types of content immediately available to the user, ranging from courses to documents. Configurable search result tiles allow the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom's content managers to arrange content as they see fit, from upcoming events or courses to recent news.

Whilst the website refresh aimed to increase course sign-ups, it was important to accommodate users who visit the website for other reasons, such as alumni relations, student services and accessing publications. In order to provide a balanced browsing experience, we Introduced the Features Navigation Bar, which highlights key content and allows users to instantly find what they need. We utilised our information architecture expertise to advise the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom on content structure and site navigation. We determined that the current menu system wasn’t able to steer users towards the site’s extended content, and accordingly added a number of convenient ‘gateways’ to solve this. This streamlined navigation provides a much richer and consistent mobile browsing experience, ensuring that visitors to the site receive an excellent experience regardless of device.

Cantarus provided us with a collaboratively-designed strategy and detailed Information Architecture that has enabled us to provide an exceptional user experience.

Matt Winn,, Head of IT Development at Serco