The Challenge

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) updated their branding in June 2017. What followed was an extensive need to update and transform their website into a modern and more robust platform that reflected their organization’s messaging and mission.

Additionally, many of MHEC’s constituents seek out resources MHEC produces. They wanted to avoid versioning issues that had become a challenge with the old site. MHEC realized that this required a much more intuitive content management system (CMS) that gave them the ability to effortlessly update and add content, events, programs, documents, and images without additional entry work. Lack of consistency was a big pain point for MHEC and they were hopeful that unified navigation and administration pages would ease the process of managing content for the organization.

Having gone through a website revision once before with August Ash, I was confident that they could help resolve some of the issues we were having. We had outgrown our old site’s capabilities. A core group of MHEC staff joined up with August Ash to map out our new site which resulted in the site being database driven.
Mary Roberson, MHEC Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
on
Friday, September 28, 2018

The Solution

Before diving into the website itself, our Digital Marketing team and MHEC had to review the user experience and MHEC’s processes and concerns. To start, our team conducted a buyer persona workshop, market research, competitive analysis, marketing channels analysis, content inventory & analysis, SEO & keyword research, and a put together a digital measurement analysis & plan. This research informed which features were necessary to design and develop for the new website, and how the website would be architected. Competitive analysis and mobile research trends also provided additional insights in the discovery phase.

Shedding light on MHEC’s main obstacles, our Design and Development teams focused on improving the overall functionality of the website by updating their content management system (CMS) to Drupal 8. This robust platform update allowed our teams to integrate new elements into the website that made it more seamless and streamlined for MHEC to update images, content, events, news, and documents. The new backend design also provided an organization of all the active individuals on MHEC’s governing board, committees, and staff and easily allows MHEC to update all of its resources simultaneously.

Together, our team and MHEC formed a strong partnership and planned to build a new, responsive online experience that would be more user friendly experience across devices, both in the public and the admin sections. Choosing Drupal 8 as their new CMS, MHEC is able to take advantage of the connectivity and extensibility of the platform for future integrations and data needs.

The Result

Having a fully-accessible, beautifully designed website with cutting-edge user experience (UX) and navigation features has proven to be a huge benefit to MHEC, helping them to significantly increase their national presence as a thought leader and better engage government and higher education leaders.

Since the launch of their new website in June 2018, MHEC has increased their new users by 15%, website visits by 20%, and page views by 27%. A few of MHEC’s main goals for the new website was to spread visibility and increase user engagement; in just a few short months, their new website has accomplished just that. Our team is honored to continue a partnership with Midwestern Higher Education Compact and we look forward to helping them achieve further growth and success.