THE CHALLENGEProviding training for more than 65,000 students every year, SAIT Polytechnic is one of Canada's leading polytechnic institutions. Their website is a key component in the daily life of SAIT - through enabling the Administration, being a critical resource for prospective and current students, and by virtue of simply being their primary business tool.
Media Dog's primary challenge is to improve navigation, design and information access while successfully dealing with hundreds of pages of content. In addition, the site must be converted from a static site loosely managed by many internal agencies to an enterprise level CMS with a dynamic and cohesive role-based user management system.
THE SOLUTIONSAIT suffered from typical management problems common to websites for most large educational institutions: conflicting navigation, inconsistent brand messaging, and a site structure that continued to go off the rails due to many disparate parties managing content while focused on their own agendas. Media Dog worked to renew the foundation of SAIT's website in a number of strategic areas:
Standardized navigation A major problem with the previous version of the site was that the navigation was extremely inconsistent. There was no consistency from section to section, which left site users disoriented and lost in a matter of a few clicks. The new Media Dog developed site avoids those problems by not only having its information organized in an intuitive and hierarchical format, but also by having consistent navigation that offers clear and efficient pathways to the right content.
Design consistencyA strong grid structure not only creates clarity for users, it helps SAIT update the site, heading off the brand inconsistency issues prevalent in the previous version of the site. Consistent header graphics allows for a variety of images which demonstrate SAIT's diversity of students, activities, and academics, while still giving individual departments flexibility in their individual approach. The modular, grid-based design not only makes it simple for site administrators and content creators to add to the site, it also utilizes the strength of the CMS which deploys page elements individually.
External CMS integrationA particular challenge of building this site was integrating the technical elements, design and content into an enterprise level content management system (CMS). Because the CMS was a third-party offering, there was a massively steep learning curve associated with using the system. In order to alleviate any growing pains and user adoption issues caused by this, Media Dog managed the process and developed thorough and consistent documentation for SAIT in order to help content creators and site administrators best utilize the CMS.
THE RESULTSThe new SAIT web site's consistent design and navigational structure provides a solid foundation for SAIT to build on - both now and into the future. With a clear and intuitive navigation structure, a consistent application of SAIT's visual branding and identity, and a flexible and modular design approach, the site no doubt enables SAIT to truly redefine itself as Canada's leading polytechnic educational institution.
ABOUT MEDIA DOG
Media Dog Productions is a full service interactive Calgary web design agency that has been in business for almost 15 years. Experts in providing Calgary and all of North America with full service online solutions ranging from web design and development to custom ColdFusion applications to online and mobile marketing.
To learn more about Media Dog please visit our website at www.mediadog.ca
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