After designing three web applications for Education Resource Strategies (ERS), the ERS team asked us to redesign their public site ERStrategies.org. The site was primarily about the organization’s news and events, but ERS presented us with an additional design challenge: turn ERStrategies.org into a web portal that showcases their apps alongside a new resource library called “Seven Strategies.”
Content for the new Seven Strategies resource library came from a set of ERS booklets outlining methods for improving large urban school districts. We reduced hundreds of pages of content into a core set of principles that are searchable and easy to read online.
Eventually Seven Strategies evolved into a new branded program called “School System 20/20.″
Iterate & Test the Site Navigation to Simplify Browsing
We started with extensive persona research and learned that some of ERS’s audience come to ERStrategies.org looking for news and blog posts. Others want in-depth resources about education best practices and school turnaround. Some have heard of ERS for the first time and want to test drive their web applications or possibly apply for a job.
After numerous rounds of iteration we designed a site structure that allows everyone to easily navigate ERStrategies.org to find the content they want.
Early versions of the System 20/20 navigation included tabs and a dropdown menu. User testing revealed that a horizontal sub-navigation with obvious links to each strategy offered the best solution.
Branding and Iconography
We created a new brand mark and color palette for “School System 20/20″ including unique illustrations for each of the Seven Strategies. ERS liked our illustrations so much that they asked us to design and code an infographic called System2020.org explaining the benefits of adopting each strategy.