- Client Name
- SET BC
- Education, Government
Founded in 1989, SET-BC is a government-funded organization that serves K-12 students, their parents, and their teachers across 16 of British Columbia’s school divisions. Their expertise is second-to-none in Canada and across the globe, and the services they provide are one of a kind: a resource hub for parents and teachers on the latest tools, activities, and curriculums that support children with physical impairments, and technology loans to ensure these students have the tools they need to excel.
SET-BC contacted Massive in 2019 to assess the needs of its internal and external users and provide recommendations for how it could develop a new website that consolidated its content, improved user journeys, and would lay a strong foundation for SET-BC into the future.
Massive discovered that their resources had become redundant, used inconsistent naming taxonomy, and were spread across five different websites. Together, these variables rendered their content unsearchable and inaccessible to the people who most needed them.
The team at Massive knew this would be a truly unique opportunity to help SET-BC build the capacity of all B.C. school districts to support their students. What was the work that lay ahead? Site audits to determine SET-BC’s minimum viable content (MVC), extensive interviews with SET-BC’s team and users, and a website design that would meet the unique needs of the students SET-BC serves.
- User Research
- Information Architecture
- Website Design
- WordPress Development
Laying the Foundations
SET-BC’s heart is rooted in accessibility, empowerment, and levelling the playing field so students with complex needs can learn at the same pace as their peers. It was critical then that Massive organize and present the information and resources on their site with these values as our guiding principles.
For us, that meant starting from the ground up, prioritizing the content that could be retired and the content that absolutely had to stay.
SET-BC’s priorities had to be established first, setting a clear tone for how they wanted their website to function and the purpose that it would serve for its users now and for years to come.
After their priorities were determined, we underwent an extensive card-sorting process and user and stakeholder interviews to catalogue all of the content across SET-BC’s five websites and determine their minimum viable content or MVC.
This process involved several workshops with their internal team. The end result was lists that prioritized their content and informed a variety of use journeys for a uniquely optimized UX design.
It was critical for Massive to balance both the needs of SET-BC’s internal and external stakeholders. Their content had to be searchable by their users, and SET-BC’s team also needed the flexibility to be creative in creating content and not to be overwhelmed with or restricted by processes and technical requirements.
Working collaboratively with SET-BC, Massive established easy-to-follow guidelines for posting and tagging. Existing content and any new content would be easy to find by users, consistent across the entire site, and fit within the website’s accessibility requirements, all without stifling creativity and community engagement.
Searchability was just one of the considerations to consider as we lay out the architecture for SET-BC’s site.
Given the unique challenges that many of their users must navigate, the visual and graphic elements of the site were equally crucial to the content itself.
As Creative Director René Thomas put it, “utility and clarity had to be prioritized over cleverness”. Colour palettes, visual effects, and iconography all had to complement or accentuate the site’s content, ensuring that no meaning was lost or confused in favour of artistic flourishes. This included the development of a built-in plug-in that gives individual users the option to increase contrast and text size, depending on their individual usability requirements.
Migrating From 5 to 1
Now that the architecture, visuals, and content requirements were established, all that was left was, well, merging the five old websites into one!
SET-BC previously hosted their sites across a combination of WordPress and Wix platforms. The new site was entirely hosted on WordPress to ensure a universal authoring experience that allows their team to maintain and update content while maintaining accessibility WCAG 2.1 best practices.
Our designers established a consistent set of resource templates across 12 different modules. We underwent extensive user-testing with both internal and external stakeholders before the entirety of their content was migrated over.
Once the SET-BC and Massive teams were fully satisfied with the visual and UX designs and the website’s functionality, the old websites were officially consolidated into the new design.
Today, SET-BC’s website sets the standard for accessibility, naming taxonomy, and functionality for the physically impaired community.
The SET-BC team has the freedom to easily categorize the new content they create and focus on continuing to provide globally recognized educational support to their community. And those who need their services and expertise the most can feel empowered to seek out the support they need to succeed and excel in their education.