UBC School of Mining Engineering

Project Categories: Branding / Content Management / Payment Gateway / Web Design /

the project

A modern, cutting-edge aesthetic to suit the times.

The UBC NBK School of Mining Engineering is one of North America’s largest and most advanced centres for mining engineering education and research.

In 2020, NBK hired Sparkjoy to develop a website that could a) showcase the school’s cutting edge research and work, and b) help attract the next generation of mining engineers. The website’s features include:

    • A multi-site network shared with a partner school at UBC.

    • News and events custom post types that allows the partner school at UBC to push news articles to the NBK website.

    • Organizational structure to automatically associate content with other areas of the site, such as displaying research posts on the appropriate researcher’s profile.

    • A home page alert badge that appears when there is a news item published within a week of today.

    • A custom plugin that connects to UBC’s secure payment gateway to allow students to pay their fees via the NBK website without any privacy concerns.

A Design that Fits

Most of NBK’s new students will be from Gen Z, a cohort of digital natives who have high expectations for novel, intuitive online experiences and for organizational values.

When it comes to websites, Gen Z has seen it all. As a result, old school designs just won’t cut it anymore. To appeal to Gen Z users, it’s crucial to design a digital experience that is novel and intuitive with clear brand values identified.

With these goals in mind, Sparkjoy based its designs on the Swiss method. The ethos of Swiss website design is minimalist. Users shouldn’t notice the design elements; the form must follow the function. Swiss-style also tends to employ grid layouts, asymmetrical elements, and high-quality photography. Content should be the focus of attention and it should be easy to follow.

A Message that Resonates

The world’s economies are in the midst of the ‘green industrial revolution’ — the biggest economic shift since the industrial revolution. Mining is not often associated with sustainability, but the fact is that mining technology and mining practices will underpin the world’s green technologies, making changes in this area impactful. A five per cent improvement at the top of the supply chain, for example, becomes a force multiplier across each downstream industry.

The website’s design embodies and emphasizes this messaging. It uses crisp contrast, vibrant imagery, seamless scrolling, and minimalist content to support NBK’s brand as a field that is helping to build a sustainable future for humanity and the plane