Image Credit : Vasilisa Sugak





Project Overview

How can RMIT adapt and thrive amidst technological transformations, while shaping a more inclusive and sustainable world? This question encapsulates the drive behind the RMIT Next Platform. It is, in essence, a huge and constantly-evolving ‘conversation’ – a place for the broad RMIT community to share their thoughts and ideas about what the future of RMIT should look like. Responses are made through ‘conversations’, with online ‘forums’ contributing expert thought and research. Ideas and answers are published, giving everyone within the RMIT community a public opportunity to have their say. Consequently, the university is able to create a strategic plan for its next five years that recognises what its community believes the organisation should be striving for. RMIT Next is a demonstration of the university’s commitment to a better future, shaped by all.

Project Commissioner

RMIT University

Project Creator

Rock Digital Agency PTY LTD


Project team:
UX Design: Anna Harris
Development: Jaydev Vala
Project Oversight: Britta Henkel
Digital / SEO: Akshay Raja

Project Brief

Being about the future of the university, RMIT required a site that reflected innovation in both design and technology. RMIT Next needed to be able to support a huge and ever-growing amount of content in a way that’s easy to navigate; that wouldn’t become messy or unruly over time; that was visually engaging; and that could be managed and updated by RMIT without compromising integrity.

As the site’s primary intention was to give people the opportunity to ‘have their say’ it required a design solution to present people’s comments and contributions in a way that was not only easy-to-understand and elegant, but would reflect their importance and priority.

Project Need

RMIT Next was designed and developed before COVID 19. However, the pandemic saw the platform become even more vital in its contribution to RMIT’s future than first intended, when in-person events and discussions formed part of the RMIT Next plan. Initially, Rock was employed to create RMIT Next because of a strong reputation for favouring UX design principles, and an integrated approach to working – one where development isn’t an afterthought to design, but embedded into the evolution of the site to, again, make user experience the most important outcome. With the advent of COVID 19, the RMIT Next platform was able to accommodate the move to a completely online program – its information architecture both strong enough and flexible enough to do so without redesigning or developing. Rock’s integrated approach to design and development has delivered a user-friendly experience not only for users of the site, but for RMIT as a client.

User Experience

RMIT tasked Rock with making the Next platform as engaging and interactive as possible – its success measured through community involvement. We’ve made opportunities for interaction varied, plentiful and easy – users can add a comment, take a survey, or do a poll, with each process clearly stepped-out. Again, the number of conversations happening concurrently across the platform is phenomenal, yet Rock’s found a way to balance easy navigation with aesthetically interesting design. The site’s hundreds (maybe thousands) of comments pose an interesting design challenge that we’ve solved elegantly, giving each enough space and emphasis to reflect to the user that their contribution counts.

The platform has also proceeded through its ‘stages’ of evolution seamlessly, from collecting and collating information and comments to now presenting key findings back to the RMIT community through its ‘Directions Phase'. The Directions Phase gives the RMIT Community the opportunity to see the outcomes of the conversations had via the platform; and how those interactions have informed RMIT’s plan for the future. It’s tangible evidence that RMIT are listening to their community, which gives users more incentive for continued engagement.

We also integrated SSO (Single Sign On) for RMIT and Linkedin users making the NEXT platform an easy and accessible extension of RMIT’s resources, as opposed to a separate entity.

Project Marketing

RMIT Next is for RMIT’s extended community of staff, students and alumni. The university handled communication about the NEXT platform through its internal networks via intranet and newsletters etc. NEXT has been, and is still proving itself, a hugely beneficial and successful community engagement project for the university.

Project Privacy

RMIT values the privacy of every individual and is committed to the responsible handling of personal information.

EdTech focuses on how education is changing through technology, changing the way we learn and process knowledge. What will stand out here is those that enhance the learning experience and make a lasting impression.
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