City College of San Francisco (CCSF) serves students at the 11 campuses and centers throughout the city and a suite of online courses and programs. With over 250 degree and certificate programs, their quality education and programs are a reflection of San Francisco’s brightest and most creative — artists, inventors, musicians, educators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers.
In 2019 CCSF began work with another firm to redesign and develop their website, but did not have anyone at the college to lead content piece of the project starting with sorting through their mound of out-dated and duplicative content on their existing website. CCSF partnered with us to support them through the content organization, development, and implementation as well as step in as project manager to guide the project to launch.
Content Organization and Migration
CCSF had a robust team of content editors throughout the college, but needed help working with these editors to determine what was current and should be preserved. Additionally, with the goal of making the new website "student-first", CCSF hoped to move much of the internal-facing content from their existing website to an employee intranet.
We started the project with a content audit and then worked with content editros to identify what content actually needed to be migrated.
- Content audit of all existing content. Each area of the college was then provided a list of their current content. They went through these lists, identifying each page as “keep” or “remove”.
- Flagged internal content as "intranet" to be moved off the website.
- Conducted content workshops with key areas of the college, including Admissions and Records, Counseling, Academic Divisions, Career Technical Education, and Student Services programs.
- Used information from the content audit and content workshops to create an information architecture that would be intuitive for users.
- Developed a final migration list that identified which content should be moved to the new site.
Visual and Written Content Development
While there was a lot of existing content, there was still a need for new messaging, specifically on the high-level landing pages throughout the site. We worked with members across campus to understand the information and messages that needed to be conveyed to their users. From there we put the pen to the paper, developing engaging and compelling content that was written in the uniquely branded voice of CCSF. Additionally, we created new graphics to accompany the written content
Content Clean-Up and Implementation
Existing content was migrated from CCSF's current website to their website built on Drupal 8. The content arrived mostly as plain text, with little to no style. That’s where our clean-up began.
- Applied new styles and formats to all text
- Used the new design templates and components to lay-out top-level pages throughout the site.
- Selected and edited new, current photos from the CCSF collection and added them to the site.
- Set-up sitewide navigations for each area of the site (based on our previously designed IA)
Guided Pathways Implementation
As website work was going on, the College was also well into an institutional redesign based on the Guided Pathways framework. Under this model, we worked with their Guided Pathways teams to develop a new user journey for prospective students. The new user journey started with the student's end-goal, and led them through career and academic exploration to arrive at a CCSF program aligned with their goals.
- Conducted content workshops to help faculty develop new content for their academic programs
- Supported the design and organization program exploration where students could filter programs by a goal and interest area
- Used new design components to layout new webages for every academic program.
Testing, Launch and Post Launch
Leading up to the website launch, we spent extensive time reviewing the website, testing out functionality, and tracking and resolving bugs. We also collaborated with content editors from all areas on campus to review and approve their part of the site for launch. Eventually, we got the green light from all, and we prepped to launch.
Working with the CCSF team, we helped create and implement a launch and post-launch plan:
- Supported the communication to stakeholders to inform them about the launch and its potential effects on their workflows.
- Supported CCSF support campus users with immediate post-launch website updates