Case Study

An Agile Platform Streamlining Use, Built for Collaboration and Shaping Minds

Facts & Figures

AUTODESK Design Academy


  • Founded in 1982
  • AUTODESK is an American multinational software corporation that makes software products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries.


  • Provide more capability, agility, and control to content user teams
  • Site stability during pivotal high-traffic events
  • Increase server efficiencies and page load speed
  • Introduce the capability of student portfolios built for collaboration


  • Analytics
  • Drupal
  • Solution Architecture
  • UX, UI, product design


  • Drupal
  • Enterprise platform integrations


FFW began by solving the 10 key problems over the course of one quarter, resulting in a 300% increase in site performance. The changes and cleanup meant that the FFW team was able to deliver new features in half the time estimated by previous vendors.

increase in site performance
more efficient servers


AUTODESK´s previous learning platform was rebuilt and rebranded as AUTODESK Design Academy. But the new site ran into scaling challenges, and frequent vendor changes only amplified their troubles - the AUTODESK team didn’t only want repairs, rather they had a bold vision for a digital space where students could master their software, including accessing online materials for self-directed learning, interacting with different types of shareable media, and creating portfolios to showcase their work and receive feedback.


Our focus started with user experience. We first built out several sorely-needed new community features. At the same time, we updated and cleaned up the back-end. An audit identified 10 key problems with the site, and FFW proposed an agile workflow solution with tasks, sprints, and measurable improvements.


The Design Academy team and FFW migrated the Design Academy site onto a more flexible solution, and built a better way of storing large files. To make sure that the site wasn´t slowed down by content uploads and downloads, FFW built an abstracted file system. The site and the files are stored separately on the hosting server, but work together to provide a single, seamless experience.
AUTODESK´s main blog site, Redshift, is well-known globally, and runs on Wordpress. The AUTODESK Design Academy Team wanted the ability to use Redshift´s content for educational purposes, so FFW built a Wordpress-Drupal importer. This allows the content team to easily reuse popular design content to support their educational goals.
To help the AUTODESK Design Academy team evaluate whether they were achieving their KPIs, the FFW team built out an internal user analytics system. It provides performance data around activities on the site, and can generate reports on three million records at a time.