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Scientific Software Provider Headless Website

Science website redesign for the world-leading experts in structural chemistry

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CCDC Website

The Client 

Science website design often has complex and varied requirements, and the brief for CCDC’s new website was no different. CCDC is a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, which serves the scientific community with data and software. They are world-leading experts in structural chemistry, and are responsible for maintaining the Cambridge Structural Database, one of the world’s largest repositories of chemical data. Their work is crucial in helping to further chemical, pharmaceutical, and broader scientific research and development.

CCDC Values

The Brief

Challenges in Science Website Design

CCDC approached Crucible to develop a new website that better represented its brand and community. The aim was to design and develop a website for the scientific sector that was modern and cutting-edge. A major goal was to still being appealing to its target audiences of new and long-standing scientists around the world. 

A key component of the project was content and data migration to the new website and CMS. As a result of many years of accumulated content, this migration had to be seamless while ensuring the new website remained user-friendly, fast, and accessible.

CCDC Case Study

Headless CMS

It was imperative to ensure scalability and future-proofing, which would allow CCDC to manage additional content and future platforms with ease. 

An important aspect of the project was the development of a headless architecture. This was built on a custom API that linked the WordPress CMS to the website’s front end, built in React. As WordPress is open-source, building the CMS headless meant greater flexibility to publish and manage content as well as having a dramatic impact on website load speeds.

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UX-focused design

To develop the overall UX and content structure of the website, the Crucible web design team explored the user journeys of CCDC’s target personas. This included detailed user research speaking to and working with CCDC’s existing users and clients. CCDC has a range of different and unique target personas, including scientists, academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, professors, and students. This meant that it was critical to identify each group’s specific objectives in using the website.

Through comprehensive user research, the design team were able to produce an evidence-based UI and a set of defined user journeys that would enable users to achieve their website goals seamlessly.

CCDC Responsive Website

Information Architecture

The information architecture of the website was completely overhauled. The new structure opted for simplicity, ease of use, and more tailored user journeys for the various different personas identified. The result caters for them whether they are considering their journey in terms of their organization, their requirements, or by a specific product. The size of the site was consolidated to fewer, more meaningful pages and the Crucible team were keen to leave no stone unturned while keeping to budget and delivering the project on time.


Need Help With Your Website?

Crucible are experts in science website design. We understand the very specific requirements of the sector, and know how to speak to a scientific audience. So, get in touch today for a quotation or a no-obligation discussion of your project.

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Before After
CCDC Website Before
CCDC Website


The Crucible web design team had the challenge of developing a science website design that was quiet and subtle. At the same time, we wanted to work towards modernity and delight in user interaction. The new website manages to strike a balance between being cutting-edge and discreet, with navigability being a key aspect.

This balancing act was further established through the design’s precise keylines and strongly enforced grids, supporting the categorisation of content and the site’s lightning speed.

CCDC Grid Website Design

The Result

CCDC’s investment in a new website has transformed the organization’s digital identity and navigability. What was once complicated and cumbersome is now structured, organized and modern. The use of a headless CMS has made it easier to use and saves CCDC valuable time, with a custom API that makes managing content a breeze. In addition to delivering the project on time and on budget, the Crucible team is proud to have reflected the importance of CCDC’s work on its new website. We are now looking forward to a future phase of work to help CCDC scale further, in line with their future goals.

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The Crucible team took time to understand our global user base, and the new site caters for them all. The Crucible team have been responsive and helpful — and the project ran to schedule and on budget. We're truly proud of the website they've delivered us, and it is already showing performance improvements.

Sophie Bryant

Marketing Manager, CCDC

Find out more from CCDC in our case study video below


Need Help With Your Website?

At Crucible, we are specialists in design for clients in science and higher education. Some of our strongest design and build projects have made a transformative impact on our clients’ digital outcomes. So, get in touch today for a quotation or a no-obligation discussion of your project.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A man planning a web design build