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CASE STUDY

Modern, Sleek Higher Ed Site Redesign with Layout Builder

Our collaboration with North Central College addressed an immediate set of needs while building a relationship to support their internal dev team and future marketing initiatives.

INTRODUCTION

The Challenge

When North Central College came to us, they knew using the existing menu system caused visitors difficulties. Even more frustrating were sporadic issues with menu depth once a user was within a section. In some cases, the child links didn't appear in the menu at all.

Our initial project was to retool the site navigation, including a deep dive into overall site architecture with an emphasis on improving the UX design. At the same time, we refreshed the home page to support the college's brand redesign.

Our Approach

The first step was a front- and back-end audit of northcentralcollege.edu. This gave our team better insight into how the site was built, as well as documented tasks to improve workflow and establish Drupal best practices for the North Central dev team.

We presented several low-fidelity mockups for the redesigned primary menu. We added some basic color, fonts, and key brand visuals to give the North Central team a better feel for how the new structure would work within the new design. They were so well received, we were able to move to the home page refresh right away.

The decision to select a design direction using the hamburger menu made a lot of sense based on their younger audience demographic. The newly designed menu and larger search buttons are strategically located so they are always easy to find. The full screen menu overlay provides more room for the deep links which many .edu sites require.

Project Highlights

UX Design

North Central's brand refresh incorporates new fonts, colors, and dynamic visual cues.

New Brand, New Home Page

The home page refresh replaced the carousel with video, emphasized news and events, and added visual cues from new branding.

Streamlining Mega Menu

Sharing our streamlined sitemap recommendations allowed both teams to rebucket content well.

Cohesive Competitive Review

Our extensive experience in the .edu space influenced our understanding of the market and personas.

Layout Builder

We created a set of reusable blocks and layout configurations. From there, we built new components for the pages.

Smooth Deployments

We pushed the new site live without downtime while the North Central dev team maintained the site.

Final Thoughts

Working with an existing Drupal site can present its own set of challenges, but with our deep Drupal experience North Central College was able to implement this important project smoothly, and early feedback has been very positive! With this first engagement, we established a collaborative relationship and the foundation of future site enhancements with North Central College.

Note: Work for North Central College was completed by Duo Consulting Inc., which became part of Mediacurrent in 2020. Read more about the acquisition.