As more post-secondary students are interacting with schools online, it became increasingly important for Stratford Chefs School to have a digital presence that better engages younger, more tech-savvy generation of users.

Strategy

The audience for an organization like Stratford Chefs School is wide and has a variety of needs. We needed to build a product that appeals to staff, potential and current students, donors, and event and dinner patrons alike. To accomplish this, we created a space for content, and a user friendly design to interest all site visitors. This meant that the content management system needed to be robust enough to account for all these user types, as well as flexible enough to accommodate changing marketing strategies.

Planning

In the planning of this project we made sure that we had a clear understanding of Stratford Chefs School’s marketing and communication needs. We created detailed wireframes of each page, section, and component which were then connected via a working design prototype. This allowed the Stratford team to get the full scope of how content would flow through the application. This also provided us with the foundation for our design and development work.

Design

Based on the school’s brand identity, we worked with the very talented Rachelle Letain to produce designs that are both beautiful and functional. A strong emphasis was placed on creating harmony between the photography, typography and colour choice. These features, along with the site’s interactions and animations, combined to create a unique and easily accessible visual system. We created something that feels clean, modern, and exciting, while retaining a timeless quality.

Development

Bringing the designs to life meant that our developers needed to focus on key customizations and configurations. With multiple and varied audiences, we needed to build a flexible content management system with interconnected data and reusable components. The system needed to be easy to use for content editors and accessible through all platforms and devices. To handle the areas containing complex data-driven features, we built modules with expandable functionality including: flipping cards, modal overlays, tabbed interfaces, hidden menus, and collapsible accordions. This modular approach keeps the user interface clear and concise, allowing for easy management by the Stratford marketing team going forward.

Integrations & Analytics

There are numerous integrations that have been added to this application including: detailed analytics and tracking capabilities, web fonts, and email notifications. There is also a donation integration that allows for seamless payment and receipt functionality, a full calendar combining multiple data types into a single view, event and dinner registration and management, as well as sharing functionality via all major social networks.