Website Relaunch of the leading College of Higher Education for Technology hftm

Case summary

The new online presence of hftm focuses entirely on students and interest groups to present their educational opportunities in a new glance.

Case description

Over the last years, hftm has continuously improved itself and enhanced its educational opportunities. Visitors were confronted with an overwhelming mass of information without proper guidance. On the other side, the demand for centralized content management and efficient editorial workflows arose, which led us to the creation of a new online presence with a great editor experience.

Case goals and results

In collaboration with our partner DesignSensor AG, we launched a first research phase to discover the requirements using a design thinking approach. This resulted in various personas and customer journeys, that shaped the target group oriented design.

Using a data centred approach and by conducting interviews with current and soon-to-be students, the requirements of the main target audience could be determined very accurately. These needs were combined with the strategy of hftm to create a common vision of the final product.

The newly developed platform allows visiting students to quickly navigate through the entire collection of educations offered by hftm. The education navigator on the frontpage lets user find the best suited options to their conditions. Additionally, a structured overview is presented to show a general overview of all possible educations offered by hftm.

To ensure a centralmanagement of courses and events, we integrated the data from an existing external system via a REST API. The new platform consumes and classifies these entries and distributes them to the relevant display positions. Enriched by meta information, these data can be accurately targeted to be displayed in similar content from Drupal.


hftm offers courses on multiple locations and in different languages. Thanks to the well embedded localization of Drupal core, the denormalized external data is normalized upon import to ensure visitors only see information available in their requested language. The imported content can be enhanced with additional metadata and content such as images or downloads to enrich the user experience, while preserving the real time data imported from the external system.

A particular challenge was the automated referencing of related courses and events. This was achieved by correct keywording and automatic classification of the content, to reduce the effort for editors to maintain all course data.

Community contributions

We’ve contributed patches or have done reviews for existing modules to solve bugs.


Why should this case win the splash awards?

hftm is a trend setter in the public sector and has always been at the cutting edge of innovation. With their new Drupal Platform, they present themselves in the most user centered way possible. While others still rely on their TYPO3 applications, hftm has made a commitment to the community driven open source project Drupal. The Platform offers everything the visitor needs, perfectly presented and embedded in a modern and young corporate design language.