Anyone happen to take a trip over to Saudi Arabia over the weekend? No? Well, if you had you would have heard all about the launch of the new University of Dammam site we’ve just completed! We are very proud to say that yesterday the Prince of Dammam, Mohammad Bin Fahd, hosted a ceremony in his Saudi Arabian city for the launch. Watch this space for photos of the event...
This has been a genuinely great project to work on, especially as it fits very well with the succession of other education sites we’ve built over the past few years. And it was a truly international piece of work. We’ve built international and multilingual sites before: the British Council’s English Online site and Amnesty International Activism Center. However, Dammam is international both in terms of geography - the Dammam team are all located in Saudi so we took some trips over there (and vice versa) - and because of its core Saudi Arabian user base.
A bit more about the university itself: the University of Dammam is located in Dammam, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest cities. Founded in 1975, it’s now made up of 21 colleges and has a student base of over 45,000 (who of course will make up the majority of users, along with prospective students, teachers and other university officials). The project team were seeking to maintain its reputation as a modern and highly regarded research university via the build of this new website and we think we’ve managed to do the job! Our two University of Cambridge web development projects (the central platform and Cambridge University Centre) were a key reference for Dammam’s stakeholders during the initial project phases. They recognised the features we implemented on to the Cambridge website that were beneficial and relevant to their own needs as a university.We teamed up with London based Arabic design specialists, Inspiral Design, (who we also must say a massive thank you to!) to create the visuals. We combined our Drupal theming and front end development skills with their design experience to make this beautiful new site happen. An important contribution of theirs was the fully working live style guide they created in Pattern Lab for the alpha / prototype phase. Also, we made it available in both English and Arabic which was a huge consideration for ourselves and Inspiral Design when it came to getting the theming, design and UX right, as of course English is read L to R and Arabic, R to L.
Want to find out some more detail about the build of the Drupal site before we get the case study up? Check out a Creative Bloq article that our Director, Leon Tong, and Mukhtar Sanders from Inspiral Design wrote earlier on this month: The 6 secrets of Arabic web design.