The Warner School of Education is a place where research, scholarship, and practice meet in one place. The school’s website serves diverse audiences with different information needs and user objectives. Due to an outdated CMS, the editorial team could not work effectively or ensure a smooth user experience. They approached Five Jars with the request to improve their internal content management processes and help different user groups access relevant content on the website intuitively.
Founded in 1956, the Warner School of Education and Human Development is centered in one of the leading research universities in the world – the University of Rochester. It allows the brightest minds to study a variety of disciplines within master’s, doctoral, and advanced certificate programs. This complex higher educational establishment has authentic traditions, values, and a mission: to make the world Ever Better.
The breadth of available programs at the Warner School of Education is impressive and poses, at the same time, the big challenge at the official website: it should help different user personas navigate vast amounts of information and find relevant materials quickly.
The request we received from the school’s team was to help the website administrators work with lots of the web content more effectively and improve their user experience to increase engagement. At that point, even the slightest change required the involvement of the engineering department, which wasted internal resources and slowed down the content management process considerably.
Five Jars onboards the project
The University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education needed a partner who would have the necessary expertise from both a strategic and technical standpoint. Our experience developing and maintaining higher education websites made us an obvious fit.
Our team started with a detailed audit of the existing custom CMS. We reviewed current information fields, content types, and formats and planned how these would be handled moving forward. We suggested migration to Drupal 9 and developed a roadmap for migration and maintenance.
Faster content management
Uptime during migration
Of content became dynamic
Smooth Drupal 9 migration rollout
Content management migration involves much more than mere data transfer. Above everything, it implies the migration of vital system components such as configurations, themes, modules, users, permissions, and more. Our technical team was responsible for reconfiguring site structure, architecture planning and integration, as well as website availability during deployments.
Streamlined content updates
- No coding skills are required from the editorial team
- Minimum development team involvement
- Instant content updating and quick corrections are possible
Intuitive interface for creators
- Integrated WYSIWYG editing
- Drag-and-drop functionality for content creation
- Multimedia support, both images and videos
More transparency in content management
- User-based roles and access control
- Content revisions are easily tracked
- Effective organization of the administrator’s team
Solid tech foundation for future growth
- Improved system architecture
- Ability to handle high-traffic events
- Web system prepared for scaling
Improved navigation with a secondary header
One of the primary goals of improving UX revolved around site navigation. Important pages like Admissions, Information for International Applicants, and Academic Programs were scattered across different locations on the site. To solve this issue, our design team offered the integration of the secondary header. This ensured quick and intuitive access to critical information for different user groups.
Increase in submitted inquiry forms
Increase in Admission page views
Increase in session time duration on the website
Dynamic deadlines feature
Because the Warner School offers a variety of programs, it was hard for future students to keep track of enrollment timeframes. Along with our design improvements, we suggested the integration of functionality that would help applicants access this information easily and never miss an important date.
With this new feature, the deadlines were updated instantly, and it was easier for candidates to see the approaching dates for different programs. For website administrators who were used to updating this information manually, managing all timeframes became much more convenient. Most of the deadline-related work was automated through the admin panel.
Better accessibility for blog content
To help users navigate through large amounts of information on the university blog, we introduced an advanced content categorization based on detailed audience segmentation.
Our team designed and configured an internal filtering system that allowed users to refine the content with additional parameters. This included personal preferences, programs, departments, and more. Accessing tailored content increased user engagement on the blog and helped the audience learn more about their educational objectives.
Five Jars' collaboration with the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education resulted in transformative improvements to the school's online presence. No longer constrained by the limits of the outdated CMS, Warner's team can now update the existing web content and add new pages with significantly less effort and without the tech team's involvement. The website offers a cohesive and engaging user experience for multiple target personas with updated design, navigation, and new custom functionality.
In our discussions with Warner's team, we also explored potential enhancements that can be planned for future project phases. They involve integration with third-party systems and the Intranet, improvements to the Staff Directory, and the possibility of automated content migration. This will help broaden the website's functionality further and provide a seamless experience for all user groups.
More case studies
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
George Washington’s Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in the United States with more than 85 million people having visited the estate since 1860. Five Jars has been collaborating with Mount Vernon since 2018 and is responsible for the digital advancement of the web environment. Together with our client, we create a user experience
University of Rochesterʼs Warner School of Education - Cloned
Transforming user experiences for content creators and website viсsitors by migrating from legacy CMS to Drupal 9
YMCA of the North
In order to delight customers, increase impact and grow their organization, YMCA of the North hired Five Jars to carry out necessary development work as well as improve the user experience across its online presence. Five Jars evaluated the required steps and kicked the project off with a diverse project team.
Learning Management System
YMCA of the North teamed up with Five Jars and overhauled the LMS entirely by transforming it from a landing page-based solution to a fully functioning learning platform.
Spooky Nook Sports
Spooky Nook Sports recently transitioned to a new CRM system and identified various areas for improvement. Especially the UX design and the user journeys required an update to align with the overall desired website experience. Five Jars was hired to analyze the current state, identify areas for improvement and, eventually, integrate the required
On-Demand Health & Wellness Platform
The first national on-demand Health & Wellness platform for YMCAs had been launched just days after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and lockdowns had been introduced. The goal of the Health & Wellness platform is to enable members and families to stay balanced through online workout sessions while their beloved local fitness clubs must
YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties
Five Jars was hired to help YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties achieve this mission online – through an overhaul of their website and by integrating sophisticated, new functions.
Mount Vernon Video Portal
George Washington’s Mount Vernon has been increasing its video production efforts to offer additional value to its visitors and members. Besides pre-recorded videos, Mount Vernon now offers live events and other captivating online experiences as well as a membership area with additional members-only content.
Council for Exceptional Children
Full web presence redesign for a major educational association (Council for Exceptional Children), a professional association of educators focused on advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. Five Jars went through the full cycle redesign with the CEC team to digitally transform their web presence and improve brand consistency across
Video Automation Tool
Automating video content preparation efforts by creating a custom-made software tool. Five Jars was hired to automate the video preparation and reduce the time spent on these administrative tasks.
YMCA of Greater Brandywine
YMCA of Greater Brandywine encompasses eight YMCAs with more than 80,000 members across Chester County. We worked with the YMCA to digitally transform their membership experience. Starting with a migration to the Open Y platform, we quickly followed with improved Group Exercise schedules, a streamlined program registration process, a digital
YMCA of Greater Seattle
The YMCA of Greater Seattle fosters healthy living habits, and a strong sense of community in the Greater Seattle region through its 14 branches. YMCA of Greater Seattle is one of the key players in the Open Y community. We worked with the YMCA to digitally transform their membership experience, starting with Open Y migration. We also improved
The project brief was bursting with innovation opportunities. YMCA of the North desired to innovate the way they inform visitors about upcoming events as well as how to guide them through their buildings. Five Jars accepted the challenge to digitalize the offline processes and to create an engaging, new way of taking care of guests.
Amazon Alexa Skill
YMCA members are increasingly relying on mobile devices, voice assistants, and new channels of content delivery. YMCA associations need to stay ahead of the curve to ensure that they meet the needs of their members. Five Jars created an Amazon Alexa skill that allows users to interact with YMCA content through conversational, natural language, and
Channel Islands YMCA
Channel Islands YMCA has maintained eight replicated WordPress websites with its growth. The project's main goal was to consolidate all websites to one primary site with branch landing pages and create one-off pages from each landing page. Launched Open Y website simplified website navigation, enhanced content management experience increased
The Virtual Y
Several YMCAs searched collectively for a platform solution to host their video content and to draw more traffic to their online offerings. They selected Five Jars to deliver three standalone websites and cater for individual requests while acknowledging a tight budget.