Case study:

Ursinus College


Wow… is everyone here as busy as he is?

As we met more and more students and staff at Ursinus College, a common thread emerged. In addition to their kindness, intelligence, and drive, they were also crazy involved. Even at a random drop-in session, each student present was somehow enrolled in two majors, a minor, a team, three clubs, a volunteer project, and a language.

Using the LiveWhale CMS, we created an extremely minimal student profile type, that could be maintained by the Web Team, but expounded upon by students (purely opt-in). We saved the longer narrative profiles for feature stories, and focused on how students described themselves in their email signatures, which looked a lot like this:

Thanks so much for meeting with us!
Sincerely, Bianca

- French/Economics Double Major Class of ’15
- All-District Track and Field
- Intramural Disc Golf Champs BACK TO BACK BABY
- Alpha Phi
- Big Brothers & Sisters
- Muslim Student Association

 

We’ve never created a final product that so clearly puts people first.

  • Student profiles list majors, minors, and activities - each its own doorway deep into the site.
  • Homepage profiles can also include alumni, faculty, staff, mascots…
  • The diversity of the Ursinus community can be seen right up front, instead of just described as a statistic.
  • Good Day Ursinus!” brings together the day’s events, menus, scores, and announcements, and changes over at morning, noon, and evening.
  • Deep and immersive landing pages help tell the many sides of the Ursinus story.
  • Rich department sites reuse dynamic content - like profiles and news stories - so that they appear full even when things are quiet on campus.

The design also needed a big space to show off their beautiful campus: a traditional footprint committed to new public art and inspiration, and one of the most stunning landscapes we’ve ever seen.

Not even a rebranding a week before launch could lessen the impact of all the hard work on display. The new site won the CASE Gold Award for District II and outperformed all of our stated metrics, including ease of use, pages per session, increased overall traffic, and our favorite request ever: “more people on campus should start their day at ursinus.edu”.

Now the Ursinus Web team makes up some of our favorite faces at the LiveWhale Developer’s Conference each year, and we have returned since the site launch to help with the Berman Museum of Art and the Alumni Magazine.