Dartmouth College’s Alumni Relations department wanted a new website that better presented the opportunities offered by the association to its constituents (both engaged and potential) in a more compelling and modern manner.
The front end of the old site felt dated and the navigation was not intuitive. On the back end, the site was not easy to update and the content management system offered more complications than solutions. In addition, the alumni department wanted to incorporate branding elements that would position itself so that visitors would get the Dartmouth “feel” without it being a mirror of the main college’s site.
Digital Echidna delivered an online experience, built on Drupal 7, that aligns with the college’s overall esthetic, while retaining the alumni’s independence and highlighting some of its key areas of interest. Of particular note is the integration of the Reunion site back into the main page following the 2016 reunion season. This facilitated a more intuitive user experience and eliminated some duplication of effort. By re-integrating the Reunion site, each individual alumni reunion group or class year will be able to have their own mini-subsite within the Reunion section.
The site was able to present the department in a contemporary manner, while still maintaining its history and brand affiliation, and helped to encourage information sharing and interactivity over the previous static archival nature of the site.
Digital Echidna built two custom import functions for the Travel content and Event content on the website. The new Travel importer was developed to pull content from an XML file exported from the college’s FileMaker database. Keeping the site maintainers in mind, the project team set up the Travel importer so they could manually update the content on an as needed basis through a straightforward upload process. The Event importer runs on regular intervals and was developed to specifically pull Alumni related events from the institutional calendar on the college’s main website.