Minnesota West Website Blueprint and Redesign

Minnesota West Community & Technical College is a small college with campus locations throughout southwest Minnesota. Though many of the college’s programs boast an impressive 100 percent job placement rate, increasing post-secondary education options for students of all ages and backgrounds had made it difficult for the college to differentiate itself and attract prospective students. MN West called upon Olive & Company to develop a new website that would more clearly communicate the value of their programs to an increasingly diverse audience.
Services:
  • Content Strategy
  • Design
  • Development
  • Information Architecture
  • CMS Training

Challenge

After years of content updates and page additions by a variety of entities, Minnesota West’s website lacked consistency, clear messaging, and had become difficult to navigate. They needed a new website that would provide a more enjoyable user experience and appeal to audiences ranging from millennials to non-traditional students. Without the budget or timeline for a comprehensive content audit or complete overhaul of the site, Olive would need to develop designs and content strategy for top-level pages that could be carried through to the site’s internal pages by Minnesota West over time.

Strategy

Olive began by developing a Website Blueprint, which helped Minnesota West define the scope of the project and what they needed to execute in order to achieve the desired results. This enabled Olive to clearly communicate expectations and deliverables to a client who was years removed from their last website redesign. Our first tasks were to create content outlines and streamline the site’s navigation to support recruitment efforts without losing other key audiences. We accomplished this by elevating key pages for prospective students and simplifying the navigation overall. We then identified five top-level pages for which we developed new designs and content that elevated their brand and messaging. These pages became templates for the internal pages and incorporated modular elements that could be used together or separately to fulfill a variety of content needs. We helped ensure the successful completion of the redesign by providing Minnesota West with CMS training and a style guide.

Results

MN West was thrilled with the outcome of the site and feel they are now better equipped to achieve their recruitment goals in the coming years. In addition to a striking new design, updated content and improved navigation, the final website prominently featured the college’s tagline, “Learn with Purpose,” throughout. It’s a message that conveyed a clear value proposition that resonated with prospective students. Next steps will include updating existing collateral to reflect the elevated brand experience of the new website.

Partnering with Olive to prepare a Blueprint of our website redesign project allowed us to clearly define a complex project. Olive’s expertise and Blueprint made it easy for our team to break down the project, and gave us an accurate description of the schedule and costs. Olive worked intently to understand the goals and objectives of our project and outlined a plan to achieve them, detailing everything from system requirements to our varying web audiences and how to reach them. Olive was extremely easy to work with throughout the entire process. Their extensive experience in higher education, along with remarkable design and technical aptitude, made Olive a clear choice.

Carrissa HabermanMinnesota West Community and Technical College