The Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) plays a pivotal role in the development of scholarly research on the Chicano-Latino population, which is now the largest minority group and the fastest-growing population in the United States.
The Center provides a vital point of access to the University through its research, press, website, library and archive, and programming. It promotes diverse participation across the campus and in the community, working in partnership with civic leaders, community-based groups, other public institutions, and international programs.
To improve delivery of resources and services to its diverse user groups—while allowing more internal staff to contribute and manage content—the Center required a new website with robust content management functionality.
At the beginning of the project, we conducted a discovery phase consisting of stakeholder and subject matter expert interviews, usability evaluation, and a comparative review of competitive websites. Building on the results of the discovery process, we proposed a clean, functional, and extensible site design with a powerful, intuitive content management system (CMS) on the backend. The new website is designed to meet the current needs of the Center's stakeholders and users, while providing a robust, scalable platform for future growth.
When our creative team presented the first mood board to the Center's stakeholders and staff, their feedback was: “You hit the nail on the head with the first try.” This is a testament to our team’s active listening during discovery, as well as their creativity and resourcefulness in composing a mood board that the Center responded to in a positive way.
Image carousels on the landing page and several Level 1 pages create a dynamic and engaging display of the Center's diverse scholarly, literary, and artistic resources. Images link through to item-level pages with detailed information about the promoted material. The CMS allows designated staff to easily add, edit, or delete carousel images and their associated pages.
An intuitive and elegantly designed Events calendar strengthens the Center's connections to its core constituencies while reaching a wider community audience. Drupal's taxonomy feature allows for the tagging, sorting, and display of events by category labels, with 'Browse by type' as well as 'Browse by date' options available to users of the calendar.
Our designers and engineers worked hard to deliver a robust and intuitive interface for the CMS on the backend. The website's content is divided into several major content types (news, events, media objects, etc.) with specific modules and fields for each content type, as defined by the Center. The structure of the CMS as implemented provides for more efficient and accurate loading of content by the Center's staff, as well as dependability and consistency of display at the presentation layer.
A dynamically updated site map, accessible from a link in the footer, provides a quick overview and easy access to the Center's deep and wide scholarly resources. Anytime a page is added to or deleted from the web site, the site map is automatically updated.