Award-winning San Francisco Bay Area web design company Project6 Design, is proud to feature a case study on the launch of a new Drupal-based, responsive web design site they created for the Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music (MI). MI is the leading music school in Los Angeles for contemporary music education. The old website was outdated and hard for their target audiences to navigate and find information. The design was not effectively communicating the school’s unique brand. Added to this were the problems faced by mobile users who could not watch videos or see content easily from iPhones and iPads. Built on an old platform, the site was difficult for the marketing team to maintain.
The design process started with the creation of user personas to focus on each of the target audiences and their goals. Mood boards were also created to help narrow in on a design theme and direction, focused on keywords and brand attributes that Project6 learned about in their discovery process. MI’s old site analytics were also examined; a review that helped Project6 Design create a new information architecture that was more user-focused and made finding key content easier.
All this information helped steer the Project6 Design team into creating an updated website design direction that was clean, refreshing and easy to read (after years of struggling with white text on a black background). The new site better highlights MI’s great contemporary music programs and represents them as a college in a new light. It also more prominently features what makes the school unique: its people. Students, teachers, and alumni are all more visually represented and showcased with engaging success stories, news items, and profiles.
Building the website with the Drupal content management system (CMS) was also an important aspect of the project, and is a core development component of the vast majority of Project6 Design’s website work. The CMS enables the Musicians Institute team to easily update content and keep the website fresh and relevant. Project6 has seen a great increase in the use of Drupal by colleges and universities and has worked on a number of award-winning school websites that feature the CMS as well. Drupal is the world’s most widely-supported open source CMS and is used by the White House and many other high-profile organizations to manage website content including Sony Music, AOL Corporate, Popular Science, and Fast Company to name a few.
Additionally, the new site was created using a Responsive Web Design approach - so the content and navigation adjusts appropriately based not on the device, but on the screen width. This also finally made the MI site mobile friendly, offering access that the old site never had.
“We are very proud to have worked with the Musicians Institute on their new website” said Esten Sesto, president of Project6 Design. “"I think our unique design and discover process really helped work through ideas with their team. The new MI site represents their brand more accurately and the updated content and user experience are engaging to their target audience. Plus the CMS is very easy to use for the marketing team - so they are thrilled. We're excited for the school and proud to have been able to take their website to the next level."
About Musicians Institute
Since 1977, Musicians Institute has been a world leader in contemporary music education, providing cutting-edge resources in its state of the art facilities located right in the heart of Hollywood, the capital of the world music industry. Its dynamic curriculum is current, comprehensive and compatible with the needs of students who not only desire to study music, but also build a career in the music industry with the knowledge they learn on-campus. http://www.mi.edu
About Project6 Design, Inc.
Project6 Design, established in 2001, is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area web design company that specializes in strategic brand, print, web design, and development services. Their unique process helps clients differentiate, validate their brand, and solve complex usability problems. Experts in the areas of High Tech, Retail, Education, and Nonprofit, clients include the Serena Software, eBay, CA Technologies, Old Navy, Gap, University of California - San Francisco, Stanford University, United Way, and the Seibel Foundation. For more information, call (510) 540-8005, email info[at]project6[dot]com, or visit http://www.project6.com.
Project6 Design, Inc.
Founder & President
(510) 540-8005 ext. 100
2111 5th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710