Awarded to Clearleft Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 1 July 2020
Value: £239,693
Company size: SME
Queen Mary University of London

One Web Phase 3 - Improving Queen Mary University of London's Research User Journey copy

12 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 2 large

7 Completed applications

7 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 21 February 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 28 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 6 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The supplier will be required to research, develop and test improvements to the website to provide improved user journey experiences for content related to academic research.

The supplier is required to review and refresh the Queen Mary University homepage design to provide a flexible page to support priority content.
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 April 2020
Expected contract length
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Queen Mary University of London
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The publishing and sharing of academic research is a key element of the work that Queen Mary does.

This project will be completed to improve research content and user journeys to research content.

This work will support Queen Mary 2030 Strategy and its preparations for REF 2021.
Problem to be solved
Research Content

The next Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment will take place in 2021 and it is important for our website to better showcase the quality and breadth of the research at Queen Mary by December 2020. Research content exists throughout the length and breadth of the Queen Mary site and on related websites.

We would like to achieve the following:

*Improve the user journey on Queen Mary websites and microsites for academic research content


The homepage cannot adequately support all our business needs (for example, supporting our student recruitment campaigns and raising our research and corporate profile).

We would like to achieve the following:

*Review and refresh Queen Mary homepage design to support and promote research content and create a flexible page to support priority content for Queen Mary's users.

*Optimise homepage for organic SEO and performance across all devices
Who the users are and what they need to do
*Prospective students- I want to find inspiring content easily and I want to access research in order to find programmes, teaching staff and peers who are relevant to me

*QM academics - I need my research profile and content to be easily accessed from all relevant places

*Academics in other institutions globally - I need to easily access research material as a peer reviewer and potentially as a contributor

*Captains of industry - I want to easily find research that is relevant to me/my organisation or that I/my organisation has links with

*Senior government figures - I want to access leading quality research and experts easily
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
This work is a continuation of a longer web development process, Phase 1 which updated the undergraduate student user journey and Phase 2 which updated the postgraduate taught user journey. Phase 1 and 2 have delivered a new visual design and information architecture.
Existing team
The supplier will deliver the project with the Queen Mary Web, Content and Design teams, and will work with staff across the University.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Meetings and any on-site work will mainly take place at Queen Mary University of London 327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK. Or otherwise agreed at any Queen Mary locations/ Campuses in London.
Working arrangements
The supplier will work remotely but will be expected to attend regular team meetings and/or updates in person at our Mile End London offices. In addition, weekly skype/zoom project updates would be expected with the potential for more frequent contact including daily stand-ups during testing phase. Queen Mary do not cover any expenses therefore any costs incurred for the provision of services must be included in the overall costs.
Security clearance
Queen Mary shall provide the Supplier with reasonable access at reasonable times to the premises where the Services are to be performed and systems for the purpose of providing the Services

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • have experience successfully developing for T4 Content Management Systems
  • have experience of having successfully performed User-research to capture user needs and enhance a Digital Service from these
  • have experience of managing a research and development phase working with multiple stakeholder and user groups
  • have experience successfully delivering Front End development utilising JavaScript, CSS and HTML
  • have experience in successfully performing Testing & Quality Assurance in delivering or developing a Digital Service
  • have experience in successfully running user testing and using the results to inform UX
  • have experience in successfully performing interaction/UX design and creating appropriate content strategy
  • have experience in successfully applying and utilising agile delivery skills in the course of delivering a Digital Service
  • have experience of effective documentation and transition of products into a live services team, including resolving defects after launch
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution [12%]
  • Approach and methodology, including Details of Project Team and how you have selected the individual(s) to perform the project tasks/ deliverables [12%]
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs [12%]
  • Estimated timeframes for the work [12%]
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and approaches to manage/ mitigate them [12%]
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you will work collaboratively with an in-house team and their wider stakeholders who operate within a complex matrix organisation [12%]
  • Demonstrate how you will successfully perform knowledge transfer and handover of completed pieces of work during the Contract and at the end of the Contract [8%]
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please clarify how many microsites fall under the scope of this project?
Are you able to share any of the learnings from phases 1 & 2 that are pertinent to this next phase?
QMUL has 20 School microsites, there would need to be a requirements analysis with each of these Schools. However, these sites currently have, and should continue to have, consistent designs and templates.

We may provide Learnings from phases 1 + 2 to shortlisted bidders at a later stage
2. "Optimise homepage for organic SEO and performance across all devices" – Is there a specification in place already for what browsers & devices have been tested? If so, how often is this updated & re-tested?
When the homepage was developed it was tested on the two most recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, safari and edge. It was also tested on mobile. Since then further testing has run on Google Page Speed Insights and mobile before implementing all new functionality. We would also expect new designs to meet WCAG AA accessibility standards.
3. How many people makeup the Queen Mary Web, Content and Design teams? Are they internal/external/mixed?
There are currently 10 people in the Web, Content and Design team. Most work is done internally, with occasional use of freelance designers, copywriters and web developers.
4. Is there an outlined code management process for the website currently? Is there a pre-release/staging environment for testing and signoff?
QMUL manages the code using Fractal.
5. Whilst optimising the homepage is one of the outlined problems to solve, its likely that a landing page strategy with a wider SEO plan would be most effective to support the different user journeys listed. Is this included in the scope of work?
"For the Research Content part of the project QMUL would expect clear well-researched user journey maps for the groups identified. Other deliverables - including IA, content strategy and visual designs - should be based on these user journeys. These other deliverables could potentially include landing pages as a solution, depending on the results of user research.

We would also expect a Homepage redesign alongside this work."
6. T4 offers a great amount of control for workflow and user permissions for content administration. How many content admins currently operate the CMS and what level of bespoke HTML is being done by those users?
QMUL doesn't use workflow within T4. The web team (5 people) are the administrators on the site. Only administrators do HTML.
7. In reference to cultural fit, do you have a set of values or any further documentation to help us understand the QMU culture?
QMUL's priorities are those stated on the evaluation criteria - that the supplier works collaboratively with the in-house team and perform a knowledge transfer and handover.

Further information on QMUL can be found on our website
8. The current site uses Google Tag Manager. Would some insight be made available via analytics? A recent performance report would be useful.
We would discuss this at interview stage with bidders.
9. Do you have any previous research that can/will be shared? Ideally before the application deadline?
We would discuss this at interview stage with bidders.
10. Would we have access to the personas you have used in the past?
We have existing personas, but would expect to review these as part of this process.
11. With there being front end Development does this mean working on existing code rather than building a new solution?
Build on existing code base established and developed in Phases 1 & 2
12. Are you working with any existing suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity? If so, will they be invited to apply for the work?
13. Do you have an indication of the budget you have in mind to complete this work?
We do not have an indicative budget but would like bidders to price in accordance with delivering the stated requirements
14. Please can you clarify the T4 experience required? Do you mean the technical implementation of front-end code into the T4 CMS ? Or do you mean design and front-end coding for T4 but the actual T4 deployment being done by QMUL web team? Or something else...
The actual T4 deployment would be carried out by the QMUL web team
15. Is there an incumbent supplier that you have used for the first two phases?
QMUL worked with the same agency for the first two phases.