Novato Unified School Disctrict

Novato Unified School District

Entropic Studio was approached by Jim Hodgeboom the Superintendent of the Novato Unified School District to talk about designing and building their district a new website, along with every school in Novato. Their goal was to have a system set up where they could control all the school’s websites from one login. The problem they were having is that the system they were currently paying for was so old and outdated that no one wanted to use it, so they began building their own sites using WordPress, Wix, or Weebly sites. While this was working out better for the teachers and coaches, this created a problem for their IT department to oversee everything. So ES came in with a suggestion of creating a WordPress multisite. This would not only help their IT problem but also give all the schools and faculty access to the most robust content management system on the web.

ES began working closely with Leslie Benjamin who is the Director, Communications & Community Engagement for NUSD. We spent a lot of time working on their information architecture, as they had over 300 pages on the site, and we wanted their users to have the best experience on the site and be able to navigate it with ease. We determined there were 5 main users for the site: Parents, Community, Staff, Potential New Hires, and Schools. We developed a brand new site map according to these users and then started to design the UI/UX around it. Our first step was to design an amazing district site, as it had everything from Academics and Programs to NUSD Initiatives. Once that was completed we then moved on to the High Schools, then the Middle Schools, and finally the Elementary Schools.

ES launched the sites over the summer and had everything ready for the start of school in the Fall. It was amazing to see the reactions of each school as they took on the responsibility to upload their own content, from photos of events to their own new channel. We have seen much more engagement by both faculty and students across the board, they finally feel like they have a reason to go to their school site and be proud of what they are uploading for the community to see. Parents are now able to sync their Google Calendars to stay on top of their children’s busy schedules. The faculty is able to keep parents and their students up to date with events and other newsworthy items. And best of all, the NUSD IT department can manage all the content for the entire district from one login.

Work for NUSD included:

Information Architecture, UI/UX Design, Custom WordPress Development, Hosting, WordPress Security, WordPress Management, and WordPress Training/Support.