Get Responsively Schooled with SVA​​

Responsive Website Design and CMS.

FROM and SVA (The School of Visual Arts in NYC) have a long history of partnerships and collaborations. In 2012, FROM launched a redesigned website and CMS to reflect contemporary technology, the new wave of digital education, and how students, faculty and parents use the site. In 2014, the sites page templates were redesigned to be responsive, allowing easy access to content and functionality regardless of platform. The backend CMS was also completely overhauled as we implemented the site to Symfony2.

A large part of our approach encompassed the creation of a real world workflow and content publishing strategy that allows the small web publishing team to leverage the school's vast content assets—art, video and other material created by students and teachers—to keep the site fresh, exciting, and a constant reflection of the talent and creativity of its population.

One key challenge FROM aimed to address was that many of SVA's programs and departments felt like they were underrepresented on the homepage of the site. FROM's answer to this issue is the Trending Now grid: an editorially curated display of content pulled from various blogs and social networking sites, including Twitter, Vimeo, and Youtube. With this tool, programs and departments need only update their blogs or social networking sites and, from there, the content is pulled into a queue of content that can be published to SVA’s homepage.

In addition, FROM completely re-architected the site taxonomy and wayfinding. The previous iteration of had not been redesigned for nearly nine years. (A testament to FROM’s original design, but not a recommended approach.) Over that period, there were many changes in the structure of the institution and, more broadly, in the ways people use the Web. The redesign addresses the growth of the school, reorganizes the content based on information gathered from stakeholder interviews and site analytics, and establishes a system that will be extensible in the years to come. The resulting taxonomy clarifies the process of locating information, introduces standard conventions like breadcrumbs and semantic URL’s, and provides context to site visitors who arrive from a search or external link.

Finally, FROM's implementation was optimized to perform on all platforms, including the iPhone and iPad. The front end was developed in XHTML, JavaScript, and CSS; Flash was avoided at all costs and the lush rotators, accordion menus, and other dynamic elements were all achieved using JavaScript. Landing and listing pages linked to in the network navigation were designed, not only for SEO and wayfinding purposes, but also enable users on mobile devices that cannot detect hover as an input to access all the site’s information.

Communicator Award – Silver
Award of Distinction
How Magazine Interactive Award
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