Cowichan Valley School District 79
School District 79 (SD79) represents the Duncan and Cowichan Valley schools. These schools provide quality education to over 7,500 students in a predominately rural community. SD79 is a progressive school district offering world-class instruction and a diversity of programs for students, parents and the community.
At the start of the project, School District 79 required a major tooling of their online brand and website content. Rebuilding the content meant establishing a fresh IA schema for the 140 pages and 400 news posts. When medium or large websites see daily maintenance over many years, the content as a whole can have troubles retaining relationships with other pages and their content. This can lead to deattached or lost content; creating redundancy or out-of-date information that later become indexed by search engines.
To create the new Information Architecture (IA schema) for SD79, a full site audit was needed in order to establish an inventory of pages, posts, taxonomies and their content relationships. Each page and news post saw their content structured into a visual hierarchy; primary, secondary and tertiary content blocks. This tiered approach allowed large pieces of information to become more digestible for reading and information gathering.
The same approach was taken for the site map itself as it would be catering specifically to parents, students and district staff. By splitting the navigation into two separate menu systems, the content could then be organized in a demographic specific approach -- making content gathering more intuitive for those end users.
The design aspect, from wire-framing to theme conception, focused on content scalability, and ensuring that page layouts properly represented the content hierarchy. The theme and district brand needed a soft, welcoming, readable and representative approach. The visual design and programming came together quickly, and in plenty of time for the new 2017 school year.