ASSOCIATION OF JESUIT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

Case Study: AJCU

Location

Washington, D.C.

Type of Organization

Education / Association

Winner

MarCom Awards (Gold), Vega Awards (Gold)

The Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities (AJCU) had outgrown their DIY website and needed a robust online presence to serve their large network of schools. AndiSites delivered–and forged lasting friendships in the process.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities (AJCU) had outgrown their DIY website and needed a robust online presence to serve their large network of schools. AndiSites delivered–and forged lasting friendships in the process.

Increase in Pages Per Session
10 %
Decrease in Bounce Rate
10 %
Decrease in Accessibility Errors
50 %

The Opportunity

There’s nothing wrong with DIY website builders for small sites and simple needs. However, as a national organization serving 28 colleges and universities in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and Belize (with two associate member institutions in Canada and Australia), AJCU needed something more. Their vision was for an online repository of information that would engage and educate users; encourage participation in conferences and programs; connect the people in their network to one another; and celebrate Jesuit education. Their old site’s CMS and features for user engagement were limited, and the design didn’t properly reflect AJCU’s exciting, caring mission and vision.

Other opportunities for improvement shared by AJCU during online and in-person discovery sessions included making information and documents easier to find; better representing the unique personality of Jesuit colleges and universities through stories and photos; and making the site more mobile-friendly.  

“We had a fantastic experience working with Andi and her team on the redevelopment of the new AJCU website in 2023! We looked at this as a true collaboration and are grateful to have them as partners. It is not an easy job to redesign a website, but we wouldn’t have wanted to do it with any other firm! We recommend them highly and are grateful for their excellent work ethic, creativity, talent and energy.”

Tools

WordPress

Elementor Pro

Features

Forms

Event Calendars

E-Commerce

Interactive Maps

Enhanced Search

Language Translation

Support & Maintenance

Document Libraries

The Solution

We knew that as a central organization serving so many colleges and universities, AJCU’s new website design, content, and structure must properly reflect the actual people providing valuable services and opportunities to its members. So we started with an online discovery survey to learn more about AJCU’s goals and current-site pain points, then we traveled to their office in Washington, DC to get to know their leaders and staff firsthand. We also created a thorough Website Audit & Evaluation Report to identify the old website’s successes and opportunities for improvement. 

Meanwhile, an in-depth audit of existing online and offline content organized the layers of information and identified spaces where new content could help. User types and personalities were defined, resulting in the creation of easy pathways that help users find what they need quickly and intuitively. 

Multiple design approaches were created, presented, and iterated on so that the fine balance between religion, education, and service could be properly expressed. The final design now “feels” like AJCU and includes areas for images, stories, news items, job listings, conference information, and other helpful information that can be easily added and changed through the new WordPress CMS.  

The wants and needs of AJCU, its members, and the website’s audiences were identified and served through curated, known-safe, properly configured WordPress plugins. “Showpiece” features like a prominent, customized interactive location map tell the story of AJCU’s reach at a glance and provide easy access to learn more if you’d like to. 

AndiSites continues to enhance the new AJCU website’s front-end and back-end based on actual user and administrator experience and as part of our ongoing support and maintenance. We’ve also helped extend the visibility and design of the AJCU brand and associated publications, including creating a new logo for the print version of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education and rebranding AJCU’s social media accounts to match the new website.