A Decade of Data: UC Berkeley I School Case Study

The Berkeley School of Information (UC Berkeley I School) contacted Kanopi Studios with a robust request: a redesign of their website, guidance on the modernization of development techniques, and a full migration of their site to the newest version of Drupal — which meant moving over 10 years of content.

This kind of request wasn’t unusual for us. Higher education clients are unique in that they are a lot of things to a lot of people. Audiences include academic peers, laypeople, current students, and prospective students. There are often competing goals and priorities, all of which need to be examined and addressed.

The answer to meeting the complex needs of higher education clients is always the same: start with research. With I School, our first stop was discovery. We had to figure out what we had to work with. That meant working closely with I School to determine content types, decide what information was still relevant, map the content to the new site, and gain clarity on the specific content that needed to be migrated during the development phase.

Then we set out our deliverables:

  • Drupal migration
  • Redesign
  • Training
  • Development pipeline
  • Responsive theming

We used a persona-driven design process that started and ended with the user. We asked the questions, “Who are we trying to attract?” and  “What do they want to see?” We blended the classic elements of UC Berkeley with a modern look and feel that would attract prospective students, while at the same time making sure the design would maintain the same high quality across a variety of platforms and devices.

In order to modernize the development practices used for I School’s site, we reorganized the way code and files were structured and refactored some of the custom modules so we could take advantage of newer tools in Drupal 7, such as the Database API, Panels, and various caching methods.

We also provided I School with a full platform for continuous software delivery, with automated deployments to the development site and scripted deployments across all environments. The bottom line? Less downtime and a more responsive site.

“It was a great pleasure to work with Kanopi on our website redesign project. We faced a daunting challenge migrating our highly customized site from one version of Drupal to another, while simultaneously moving to a completely new responsive visual design. The Kanopi team’s expertise and enthusiasm were critical to the success of our project. We couldn’t have done it without them!”

– Kevin Heard, Senior Director of Information Technology, UC Berkeley School of Information

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. In the weeks since the new site launched, measurable improvements are already being noticed by site administrators and, most importantly, by the users! Here’s a snapshot of the improvements:

  • Sessions increased by 4.29%
  • Users increased by 3.11%
  • Page views increased by 22.30%
  • Pages/session increased by 17.26%
  • Average session duration increased by 11.33%
  • Bounce rate decreased by 1.42%

From research to organization to design to modernization, our decisions were driven by data every step of the way. Contact us today to discover how we can transform your site and help you meet your goals.