The University of Cambridge

As the fourth-oldest surviving university in the world, it was a great pleasure to help this historic and elite institution deliver a consistent and modern digital platform - their main university website.



It is globally recognised as one of the most elite academic institutions and has more than 19,000 students. However, the University of Cambridge had over 438 different sites, on over 90 different software platforms. This meant that the digital presence of Cambridge University was inconsistent and lacked a sense of cohesion.

So developers here at BrightLemon stepped in to deliver an innovative digital strategy and roadmap to reflect the University as a cutting-edge learning centre.


Cambridge home page



The original structure of the site was difficult to navigate, therefore the main goal of the project was to create a modern and consistent design, which functioned successfully across many different websites.

"Our website needs to be attractive to potential research funders and donors, new recruits, alumni, and the general public. At the very minimum, we need the appearance of a joined-up University" - The University of Cambridge.


cambridge academic process



In order to create this coherence, our developers found inspiration from the BBC’s Global Experience Language (GEL) - a shared design framework that enabled the BBC to create consistent and sleek user experiences across all of their sites.

BBC GEL templates work to provide a recognisable experience across many outputs, allowing numerous services to develop collectively, rather than independently.


bbc gel branding


Taking elements of this successful parent model on board, BrightLemon teamed up with it London based agency, Head, to deliver Project Light - a new web style guide to be used across all digital platforms.


bbc gel


Another key element of the project was to create a mobile-friendly website that could be used across a range of digital platforms.

To achieve this, our developers used a reusable Drupal framework and a selection of open Drupal modules, so that the site seamlessly responds to mobile and tablet device sizes and staff and students can easily navigate it with enhanced usability.



By implementing templates, multiple sites that fall under the banner of Cambridge University have been successfully aligned into a sleek and consistent design, very much in-line with their innovative reputation.

Our developers successfully created a unified and easy-to-navigate digital platform for Cambridge University.

In the future, our developers have plans to improve the website further by creating a personalised profile for Cambridge members – My Cambridge. This would feature a personal academic progress tab, as well as a news feed, similar to Facebook, to collate all the students’ information into one, easy to navigate, place.


Other statistics:

  • 430+ sites united on a single digital platform

  • 100+ University of Cambridge websites using the Drupal templates

cambridge website on a ipad



"We knew we wanted to evolve our websites to be smarter, and more usable across as many devices as possible. The inclusion of BrightLemon's work in this process has ensured we can meet these aims, without compromising the volume and quality of our world-class content." - Barney Brown, Digital Communications Manager for the University of Cambridge

"As one of the world’s top brands in academic education, re-building their site was a major responsibility… We are really proud of how it looks, what it delivers to the students and staff, enabling them to access and engage with one of the most innovative university sites across a range of mobile devices." - BrightLemon Director, Leon Tong