Awwwards

The Challenge

Defining a voice and brand for a well-known and established educational organization that personifies the core values and academic excellence is no small feat. Milpitas reached out to Hounder to help establish a new brand strategy and content strategy along with a fresh new perspective on telling the Milpitas story and providing an engaging website and tool for its visitors, parents, donors, and students. Visitors are coming to the website in search to get answers to their questions. What is their theology as a Christian school? What is their approach? Is it a nice looking school in a good neighborhood? How do I get the process started? This web site needed to emphasize simplicity and funnel visitors effortlessly through the site to get the information they are looking for quickly.

The Solution

We worked closely with the delightful folks at Milpitas (shoutout to Bob, Luann, and Mark, whooo!) to identify a new voice, logo and overall content strategy that accurately represented their core values and academic excellence. We did this by engaging in a week-long discovery and quickly began logo explorations, creating a cohesive and engaging content strategy, design and build a new delightful website experience that supported their new brand strategy and funneled their audience to the desired information.

We built the new site using Blackbaud K-12 On Suite of products that integrated with the Raisers Edge CRM, and created a component-driven design system that enabled the team to easily maintain themselves.

They listen and really try to understand the client’s needs. They don't try to upsell us, they just want to help us create the best possible website for our school. They’re such a professional, quality company. We're really impressed.
Bob Murray, Head of School, Milpitas Christian


Our Process



Project Scope

Milpitas Christian asked Hounder to create a fresh new brand and voice for their school. In doing so, create  a fresh new web presence for their rapidly growing school and pressing needs for digital transformation of applications, registrations, and giving. A site that could enable them to make updates quickly and integrate with existing CRM systems. Finding the right tone and blend of portrait imagery that immerses you into what it's like to be at Milpitas was a true joy to create and help establish.  It was the perfect project — a great client and staff, a mission we believed in, and an opportunity to work with some wonderful folks, including our friends at Blackbaud!

  • Logo, Brand Strategy, and Branding Guide
  • Design and implement a new website theme for Milpitas Christian School website that meets the new content strategy and content needs identified
  • An optimized website in the established BlackBaud CMS that is supported and configured for internal folks to update content easily.
  • CMS configuration, roles, and permissions setup
  • SEO keywords and titles will be implemented as part of the defined content strategy and approved site taxonomy.
  • Content entry and new page creation
  • Code testing, load testing, speed optimization and browser optimization
  • Handoff and Training


Brand Strategy and Logo Explorations

After doing a full-week of discovery with the project team and it’s leadership, we quickly landed on a strong content strategy, displaying confident yet friendly and familiar tones. Exemplifying a high quality in education with a dedication to Christ-Like growth. So we got straight to work sketching out new logo concepts. After a few iterations, we came upon this fierce lion and shield concept. Pairing beautifully with a fresh new color palette and font treatment to display that bold, confident, yet welcoming tone that was identified in the early discovery meetings.  

Layouts / Explorations

Shortly following the approved content strategy, we went all-in on researching and identifying the content and tools that visitors, parents, students, and donors needed to be successful. After a week of digging into the analytics of past site performance and user research, we began wireframing out new site taxonomies and users flows that would funnel the identified personas to the information needed. 

Design / Development / Testing

We had a blast coming up with interesting ways to present the Milpitas story in a new and engaging light. We played a lot with some subtle animations to help draw the eye to key points of information such as "scheduling campus tours" and submitting applications. We also got some drone imagery shot on-campus as a welcoming site when first loading the page. 

After several iterations, we finalized the design with Milpitas team and got right to work on the development sprints. Piecing each design component into a crafted element in the Blackbaud K-12 CMS allowed the Milpitas team to easily update the content and provide the ability to add new design elements in the future without having to go through duplicate re-design efforts. During these development sprints, we worked closely with our friends and partners at Blackbaud to carefully and thoughtfully ensure that all integrations with the Raisers Edge CRM system would flow nicely with the new custom site experience. 

Result

We are thrilled with how this came out and excited for our friends at Milpitas as they continue to move forward in their digital transformation gaining a new foothold in their mission of making an impact on the world through excellence in Christ-Centered education.


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