CSU STEM

Building Bridges to Support STEM Education in the Community

The STEM Center at Colorado State University facilitates collaboration and coordination among the university’s science, engineering, mathematics departments, and the teacher preparation and development programs. The CSU STEM Center supports and collaborates with faculty, staff, and students both within and outside CSU who focus on STEM research and education. They serve as an organizing point for large-scale projects on campus and builds on CSU’s commitment to excellence in research, education, and community engagement toward the development of global citizens.

What We Did

Custom Website Design

WordPress Development

Accessibility Consulting

Search Engine Optimization

Content Creation

Website Hosting & Support

The Challenge

The CSU STEM Center is a hub for collaboration and connection in the STEM field at Colorado State University. They needed a website that would serve three distinct groups: CSU faculty both inside and outside of the STEM field, students at all levels interested in STEM programs or research, and the Colorado State University community at large. This website needed to provide these groups with quick access to resources, an understanding of the STEM Center and its efforts, and a deep resonance with the STEM Center’s mission.

The primary challenge of this project was to create something that would streamline their online presence and provide a user-friendly and easily searchable site that would broaden the impact of the CSU STEM Center both on and off-campus. The website also needed to present a modern, visual aesthetic, follow CSU’s strict brand standards, and be built in a manner that is accessible to all users – I.e., in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and following, at least, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA. In short, the STEM Center’s new website needed to remove as many barriers as possible so that people in many different roles – from students to educators to community members – could easily access educational and funding resources.

Our Deans and our Vice Provost have been extremely pleased with the website.... the general consensus has been extremely positive. It’s much improved from our previous site.

Dr. Laura Sample McMeeking

Our Approach

We understood that the STEM Center’s primary goal was to create a website that was easily searchable and usable, and so we added an easily identifiable section – in CSU’s Aggie Orange – to the home page which allowed website visitors to define who they are. Upon selecting their persona (faculty/staff, k-12 student, educator, community member, etc.) the content of the home page would change to show blog posts, events, and resources specifically targeted to that audience. This allows all users to quickly find the information relevant to them and quickly get where they need to go.

Throughout the site, there was special care put into designing and developing highly filterable databases of events and funding opportunities. In addition, we spent time carefully considering navigation structure and how content could be organized in a meaningful way, as well as ensuring the website was both designed and developed according to WCAG 2.1 AA best practices for accessibility. From top to bottom, we worked to create a forward-thinking website that’s both visually compelling and broadens the impact of the CSU STEM Center.

Website Design & Development

click and drag the screen

Computer
CSU STEM center home page

The CSU STEM Center’s website was given a modern makeover and matched to the brand colors, fonts, and style of Colorado State University. From this starting point, we added customized sections, including a highly searchable repository, a showcase for events and initiatives, creating an overall accessible and visually-compelling website.

The Results

Since its launch, the CSU STEM Center has received positive feedback from a variety of groups, including Deans and Vice Presidents from multiple colleges and departments. The new design has brought increased users and returning visitors since launch and is achieving the goal of allowing the STEM center to better serve their Northern Colorado community. Additionally, this new website brings the STEM center in compliance with ADA and section 508 accessibility requirements.

CSU STEM Center’s new website transformed their previously static and difficult to navigate into a modern and easily accessible resource for teachers, professors, and students of all ages.

increased website traffic

89%

increase in website visits
increase in unique users

82%

increase in new users
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26%

increase in pages per session
accessibility icon

100%

accessible website design & code