case study

GradCity (TUI Travel)

Website redesign and integration of third-party systems improves lead generation and sales process for industry-leading student travel company.
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GradCity website before redesign

GradCity, a student-focused travel company, needed a new website after a previous merging of websites with a sister brand resulted in a loss of individual brand identity and SEO value, hurting customer acquisition.

Project goals:

  • Replace an unworkable content management system (CMS) with one that facilitates easy maintenance and update of website content.
  • Create mobile-friendly website with visual design that appeals to core audience and offers a user experience with a clear process.
  • Integrate with existing third-party systems, including HubSpot, to create a seamless lead generation to sales and booking process.
  • GradCity required a Drupal partner with specific technical expertise, as well as solid user research and user experience design practices.


  • GradCity Responsive Website in desktop
  • GradCity Responsive Website in desktop
  • GradCity Responsive Website in tablet
  • GradCity Responsive Website in mobile
  • GradCity Responsive Website in laptop

To regain GradCity’s brand identity and address the other major issues negatively affecting their business, OHO focused on four areas:

  • Research & User Experience Design – Design a site prototype, test against the competitive landscape with focus groups and one-on-one user interviews, and incorporate research findings into a site design that addresses the wants and needs of site visitors in an engaging, high-quality user experience with an immersive and interactive visual design.
  • Mobile-Friendly Site – Ensure users on mobile devices, who account for 25% of site traffic, are presented with an optimized user experience, particularly when viewing image and video galleries.
  • Drupal Implementation – Create a CMS that facilitates easy site changes, addresses search engine optimization best practices, and accommodates a tabbed structure within destination pages while maintaining unique, SEO-friendly URLs using the Drupal Node Tab module.
  • Third-Party Systems Integration – Integrate with existing third-party systems like HubSpot and custom CRM platform NetRes to provide improved customer lifecycle tracking, a more user-friendly back-end process, and an easier and faster conversion process.

Launch: March 2014



of site traffic from mobile devices


industry awards for website excellence

OHO delivered quality results from research through to execution. They worked well with the numerous players involved in the project to ensure the site was not only compliant with internal standards but also met customer needs. The launch went very smoothly and the company—particularly the sales team—is very happy with the site and results.

Rebecca Heidgerd
Director of eCommerce
TUI Travel PLC

Now better optimized for traffic from search engines, the new GradCity site is more easily found by students and the responsive design gives visitors on mobile a great experience. The HubSpot integration allows for better tracking of the customer lifecycle by capturing more meaningful data that helps the sales team get sales revenue back on track. The GradCity website won an Outstanding Website Award, Travel by the Web Marketing Association and a Bronze Summit Creative Award in the Travel category.

Further Reading

  • StudentCity

    Student travel website redesign and third-party system integration leads to increased conversions and optimized experience for visitors on mobile devices.

  • Seventh Generation

    Website with multiple social features and new e-commerce capability increases engagement and sales for top consumer brand.

  • Norwich University Online

    Website built based on learnings from user experience testing shows immediate positive results for university's online education program.