The Learning Partnership and Kentico EMS
The Learning Partnership is a Canadian charity that prepares students to thrive in a diverse, connected and changing world.They leverage the best thinking from educators, business, and government to deliver experiential programs for students that cultivate entrepreneurial thinking and support social emotional learning.
The goal of this project was to design and develop a completely new website for TLP that reflected the charities business and user goals. The focus was to streamline the charities registration processes and provide an easy way for managing user accounts. The strategy was to build into the system various custom forms for registration, as well as a user dashboard that reflected enrolled programs. Kentico EMS was chosen as the CMS because TLP needed a CMS that was powerful enough to handle marketing features like advanced contact management and email.
1) UX Design was particularly challenging because we had to understand the various parts of the existing website, CRM and microsites in order to understand how they interplay with business goals and plan what we are to build.
2) Development of custom forms.
3) Making proper use of the marketing applications built in to the Kentico EMS to offset the decision to discontinue use of previous CRM.
To overcome the daunting task of streamlining multiple web properties we started by organizing content by user goals. We then identified extraneous pages with Google analytics and chipped away at the sitemap until it properly relefted the objectives of the charity. Once the sitemap was completed we used the information we acquired to inform our approaches to the wireframes. We wireframed everything from complex forms and pages to customer journeys and counted clicks to ensure we were effective in our decisions.
Developing custom forms for this website was a big challenge because The learning partnership offers a wide range of programs and events that members can register to attend. Some programs and events are free while others require payment. The registration forms had to be multi-step with navigation so that the registering member knows where they are in the registration process. Out-of-the-box Kentico forms application nor the page wizard provided the functionality required to meet the site requirements so all the registration forms on the website had to be developed custom. The forms were built using asp.net c# and utilized the asp.net Multiview to aid in the multi-step form function. Async postback was used to help make form interactions appear more seamless. A third party client side jquery form validator was used to validate form fields on the client side while c# was used to perform server side field validation. For forms requiring payment, paypal payments API was used to submit payment details and collect payment.
User management was considered a big part of this project. TLP previously relied on NetCommunity software to process their payments, registrations, and client information. Getting rid of this software was a big decision that was made easy by Kentico EMS. Not only did the online marketing solution provide the charity with everything they were currently doing with NetCommunity but it also afforded them the ability to manage their clients with a greater degree of intelligence. This was accomplished by utilizing macros to segment users into different contact groups based on user activities (registrations). From there, TLP was able to utilize the email marketing application to target specific messaging that was specific to the contact group(s) of their choosing rather than sending out a general message hoping it resonates.
In the end, we ended up with a fully optimized website that presents no extraneous information and intuitively guides the user whether their interaction is as simple as looking up information or they are logging into their account to continue working through a multi-step registration application. We provided TLP with completely intuitive and custom multistep forms and set up condition based contact segmentation to allow for greater managing of clients in the backend and more effective communication with email marketing campaigns.
Key criteria for using Kentico EMS
The Learning Partnership was originally sold on Kentico because it was a scalable easy to use CMS that they could add their microsites to and administer everything in the backend. As the project evolved they realized that there was much more potential built right into the CMS. They abandoned their existing CRM in favour of the EMS features and are looking forward to expanding on the features that they are currently using.