Parkland & Cumberland College

Strategy Interface Design Experience Design Content Management System Development

After Parkland College and Cumberland College joined forces to form a partnership, they realized that they needed to improve the experience around their websites and streamline their digital presence. The two colleges deliver programs and courses across more than 20 campuses in Saskatchewan, but their websites were outdated and challenging to maintain.

With the new website design, the colleges aimed to increase student applications by creating online platforms that showcased their community engagement and partnership with donors and supporting organizations.

Project Type

Web Design

Project Mandate




Wireframe and page mockups for Parkland and Cumberland Colleges

Two structures. One solid foundation.

One of the main challenges of this project was to combine two different institutions into one single platform. Their previous websites were not only content-heavy and difficult to navigate, but programs, courses, and conversion flows were based on different structures. Before we started moving pixels around, we worked collaboratively with the stakeholders on an Information Architecture that could deliver a solid foundation that would attend both colleges, as well as other institutions that may join the group in the future.

A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information. A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information.
A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information. A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information.
A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information. A card component detailing student, staff, and partner information.

Design decisions backed by research.

From start to finish, the project was supported by multiple research activities.

Research goals

By mapping out the user journeys for each user group, we were able to understand how the website fits into their decision-making process.

Establish strengths, weaknesses and missed opportunities

By exploring user thoughts and opinions on the existing college websites, we were able to carry forward features that work well and improve on those that don't.

Prioritize new website features

By establishing users' wants and needs and aligning these points with the colleges' goals, we were able to prioritize features by importance and feasibility.

A number of mockups for research report components.

Research report that goes beyond the user interface.

Our User Experience designers conducted interviews with users and stakeholders from both colleges and assessed historical data from their websites. By combining all the data collected, both qualitative and quantitative, our design team put together a report with over 80 pages containing insights and recommendations that supported decisions on the redesign step but also offered the colleges invaluable insights into their brand perception.

Interactive Wireframes.

After aligning on all the findings and recommendations, our design team was equipped with enough information to make informed decisions on content structure. It was time to translate all that data into mid-fidelity wireframes. At this stage, we zoom in on individual pages to discuss where and how each piece of content should be displayed and how users should go about navigating through different pages.

Wireframes are the fastest way to have a solid idea of how the content will be organized, and allow all stakeholders to collaborate and make changes a lot faster than in the visual design stage, where pixels need to be precise.

This step was crucial for both teams to align on content formatting and structure. It also allowed us to refine the conversion flow by running internal user testings.

An overview of the site map and page wireframes

Multi-brand Design System.

With wireframes in hand, the design team started its visual work, centred around a unified Design System. This was custom-made from scratch to meet the institutions' distinctive needs.

Based on the Atomic Design concept, our team assembled a detailed visual library with all the necessary guidelines and components to make the project flexible enough to accommodate multiple brands, while still maintaining constraints to ensure consistency across the board.

From atoms to complex organisms and templates, the Parkland and Cumberland Design Library is flexible, expandable and future-proof, covering all of the elements necessary to design thousands of pages with ease and consistency.

Mockup of sample typography
Mockup of site colour palettes
Mockup of sample card components
Mockup of sample typography

From pixels to code. And to pixels again.

Equipped with all the design guidelines, templates and flows, our developers start to work their magic.

A Content Management System that is a breeze to manage.

We believe a website is only as good as its content. That's why we ensure our clients receive a solid CMS that is secure, user-friendly, and easy to maintain.

Our team also provides training sessions when necessary to ensure every contributing member has the opportunity to learn and ask questions before the new website goes live.

Parkland and Cumber land College Craft CMS control panel

The outcomes.

The final result is a streamlined platform that offers positive experiences for all users, from students to faculty members and other community partners. With a unified and redesigned structure on both front and back ends, institutions can efficiently manage their content and keep their programs and courses up to date. And through a dependable design system, both brands can enhance, grow, and expand their digital presence for years to come.

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