HUNTER COLLEGE

Website and CMS design for the crown jewl of the CUNY system

Visual Design

WORDPRESS CMS DESIGN

in Collaboration with

Double Haul Digital for product and project management
Codiac for custom WordPress theme and development
Sarah Hutter for editing and copywriting

For 150 years, Hunter College has had a commitment to student success from their diverse and communicative community. We were tasked with updating their website to reflect their growing needs.

Our overall project goals were to create a modern and transformative online experience that expressed Hunter's diverse and active community. We were tasked to design a website that exemplified these aspects within a WordPress content management system (CMS). The theme we designed needed to provided simple, yet flexible, content options that maintained a consistent look and feel, as well as an excellent user experience.

Sitemap


‍Hunter already had a 4,000+ page website that lacked cohesive branding and was built on multiple outdated platforms. The website served as both a public-facing promotional tool and a portal for students, faculty and staff at Hunters various schools and departments. We spend a good amount of time  accessing the current landscape, establishing priorities, and planning a path forward to unify the school on one WordPress site. With so many moving parts, teams, and priorities, we were tasked to deploy the website in several phases.

We created multiple sitemaps, visualizing how the current landscape could ultimately be turned into one cohesive website. Once we had a plan in place we tackled Phase 1: Redesign of the Hunter homepage and 25 top level pages.

Branding
We worked with Hunter's executive leadership on exploring personality and design attributes that we could base visual design and copywriting on. We then used these attributes as our guide throughout the project to insure we were adhering to the overall brand goals.

Look and FeelWe submitted 3 design variations of the homepage, based off of our new brand attributes, to establish look and feel. After client review, one became the clear winner and we were able to quickly move forward to the next task.

WordPress Theme


For maximum versatility, we designed a modular system that made creating content and updating the website as easy, yet as flexible, as possible. We first established the necessary page templates and modules we would need to display the desired content. The modules were designed to be used across page templates, simplifying the CMS and making it easier for editors to learn and use them.

Wireframes


We then created wireframes of our designated pages to verify our modular system worked with the content goals.

DesignThen we moved to final design for all pages, further refininment of the modules to ensure they looked their best on all device sizes and establishing detailed page specs for the development team.

DevelopmentThe custom WordPress theme was created to be geared for responsive layouts and for accessibility. Different content types, desired functionality, and user access had to be considered throughout. We worked closely with the development team at Codiac and at Hunter to create the appropriate approach.

LaunchAfter a thorough review, the website was launched to great success. It has provided a home that is reflective of the diverse Hunter academic community. Editors are able to better control the flow of content. And the content itself is much more impactful in it's modern, redesigned state.

TrainingIn order to set Hunter's team up to take over website responsibilities, we held multiple training sessions with staff as well as creating a knowledge base for how-to's, best practices, and overall reminders of how to do particular tasks, setting them up for success.

Visit the Hunter website.

Original mockup of the Hunter homepage below.

screenshot of hunter homepage

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