From its headquarters in Chicago to its 100 study abroad programs in 36 locations worldwide, IES Abroad’s mission is to create authentic global education and life- affirming cultural experiences. The organization actively recruits students from diverse populations and provides more than $2 million in scholarships year after year.
The IES Abroad website met all the business objectives. In doing so there were a number of innovative achievements including:
1) Integration with Backend Systems: Developed by a third-party IT team, IES’ backend API combined the organization’s CRM and other systems. Duo leveraged this API to ensure data entered into user accounts on the front-end traveled to the backend for simple collection, storage and organization.
2) Business Process Enablement: At on-campus live events, IES reps pass out “blue” cards where students fill out basic information. Data from the blue cards is manually entered into the system.
3) Customized Program Registration: IES uploads a CSV file with student data for a program that is customized for a group of students of a particular class or university. Once the CSV is uploaded, student accounts are created for each data row and the student receives an email with login details. Once logged in, they complete their online application for the customized program that has already been started for them so they may complete the registration process.
4) Responsive Design: The Drupal 7 website is also a responsive design permitting it to display properly on multiple mobile, tablet and desktop computing devices without re-directing visitors to a mobile stylesheet.
Organic Groups delivers content to different registered users based on the groups they belonged to
Panels Module is used to help in themeing and layout
Rules Module is used to automate backend processes when new users are created
When IES Abroad brought Duo Consulting onboard, the initial relationship was one of "Discovery" —the creation of wireframes, focus group research and interaction design for a new website. But that wouldn’t be where the relationship ended. As the project progressed, Duo and IES Abroad would agree to engage for Drupal development work as well.
The innovative design eventually featured three main top-navigation elements;
- a quick-pick drop-down menu based on program location
- a revolving showcase for featured content
- auto-updating feed for student blogs and news
Because the site serves a student population, there wasn't any question that a mobile presence was essential. The site was developed responsively to eliminate the need for redirection to a mobile domain and to provide the best experience for site visitors.