The site and its processes
The audience for the anniversary website included engineering and science professionals ages 20-100. Approx. 300 men and women graduate from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences each year. And for the last 150 years they have gone on to become Nobel Prize winners, astronauts and scientists. Vector Media Group had to take into account the range in ages, locations (browsers), and interests.
The primary objective was to build an interactive, rich site that would engage Columbia alumni.
We've created a robust backend to house 250+ pieces of content and streamline a usability flow that made multiple interactions intuitive for the alumni.
This started with the clean, photo-driven layout (from Stark Design), which centered on a large Columbia University logo and blue color palette. To keep the homepage content organization simple, the nav included only three prioritized sections – Events, History, and Memories. Then, to add movement to the design, Vector Media Group coded four interactive elements: a full-screen background slideshow with navigational arrows that also auto-rotates every six seconds, an interactive history timeline with jump-to-date functionality, Facebook and Twitter integration, and a carousel of milestone dates.
To further increase participation, Vector Media Group’s award-winning development team strategically allowed visitors to perform eight actions:
8. Add Custom Content
The development work that created these unique features included: implementing the ExpressionEngine CMS, YouTube integration, Facebook and Twitter API feeds, and a tagging system.
In the end, alumni participation was well documented with alumni uploading 57% of Memory posts and retweeting the @ColumbiaUniversity post with the website link. The multitude of alumni-engagement points made the online destination a complete success.