645 N Meridian St, Greenwood, IN, USA
Campus Living Villages creates communities for students studying at 76 universities in five countries. A truly global brand, CLV relaunched 61 websites under one umbrella – MyStudentVillage.com. It was an ambitious digital rebranding requiring rich expertise in content strategy, an intensely collaborative client-agency partnership, and a flexible content management system to empower team members across the globe.
Because of the different considerations and vernacular necessary for different cultures and countries, our team seized every opportunity to ensure just the right amount of back-end blend of standardization and customizability so the content could flex its muscles on the front-end.
When working with a campus housing business with locations on three continents, it’s no easy task to create an intuitive architecture built around limiting clicks and minimizing hassle. The navigation required a different line of thinking from the get-go to ensure no matter where you are on the site, you’re only a few clicks – or taps of the phone – from being able to research a location elsewhere in the city, the state, the country, or even the world.
Whereas a common project progresses from strategy to design to development, MyStudentVillage was an intensive partnership between content strategists and developers. We established the content hierarchy and URL structure early on in the process to create a uniquely manageable international site.
The integration of student housing software with the My Student Village website needed to feel and look natural – and not like a third-party tool. That’s what led our development team to collaborate with CLV on building an API (application program interface) from scratch that specifies how the student housing software and the WordPress engine should interact.
This API needed flexibility because different regions have specific needs regarding how they interact with the housing software, but the WordPress integration needed to deliver on ease of use and depth of capability across the globe.
When CLV forges new university partnerships in the future, its new partners will immediately benefit from My Student Village’s tailored content management system with integrations into student housing software.
We don’t just practice and preach user experience for the end user, we also keep the client CMS user experience top of mind, too, by building out WordPress to make it easier for the client to add, edit and manage content.
We started with permission structures: for example, WordPress users in the United Kingdom need only to view and edit UK content on the back-end. We continued with logical hierarchy for four levels of relationships between villages, universities, cities and countries.
If you think WordPress doesn’t possess the complexity you need for your site, think again—our custom post types allowed for unparalleled functionality and customizable footer menus and even incorporated third-party API with maximum ease of use. The method of content creation was standardized without ever sacrificing flexibility and customizability when a message needs to differ across universities or villages.