Header Background

The University of Helsinki

What’s most unique about Druid, is their strong belief in the lean methodology. The client is shaken to the core and the team always wants to know the gist of the matter before moving on to implementation. Mangling and challenging has led to a better architecture and the minimizing of expenses by making sure that redundant code is not being created. New things have been tested in spikes in accordance with the fail-fast ideology, before moving forward to production.
Maikki Sykäri
Project manager

Starting point

Along the years the University of Helsinki’s website had become helplessly obsolete technically. Separate html documents were still updated manually even though advanced content management systems have been available for ages. Content creators were unhappy, and neither the selection of services nor mobile support could be improved.

What we did

We revamped the University of Helsinki Group’s web pages and the degree finder at www.helsinki.fi. We also built a general use web service platform customized to fit the university environment. In addition we coached the staff in the Lean Startup methodology.


The revamped website with an added mobile support won the hearts and minds of both the students and the content creators. A data entry user survey rated the administration interface a 4 out of 5. The degree finder’s end user test showed that the service is clear and meets the needs of the user. Its NPS rate was a remarkable 83.

The University of Helsinki made a choice of platform before the actual project was started, and the final choice was between Liferay and Drupal, both of which are nearly identical in terms of features. The proof-of-concept that Druid provided convinced the customer of Drupal’s flexibility. Together with a clear licensing plan and guaranteed security updates, the demo was enough to boost Drupal to become the content management software for the University of Helsinki’s renewed website. We did not take part in the actual competitive tender, but we ended up with the realization of the project through our business partner Gofore.

We started building the service on top of Drupal 7 in late fall of 2013. We used the Scrum methodology, which was already familiar with the client, combined with the Lean Startup methodology: you should always try, even if you fail. The best end result is not found in your own comfort zone.

Our team’s size was fluid throughout to best serve the needs of the project. At its largest, there were six Druids at work and at its smallest our team consisted of three Drupal specialists. The results were agilely published during the project. The first pilot was built in 4 months, the news page was published during month 9, and the production version of the Group’s page was published in March 2015, only a year and a half after the project was initialized.

The public part of the site serves all users equally, regardless of the device used. The Drupal solution we built acts as a service platform to different target audiences: future students are drawn in with an integrated degree finder, and the work of researchers is made easier by offering the chance for different research projects to create their own mini sites on top of the shared platform.

Want to know more?

Contact us