About the U of G AAD

Known for excellence in the arts and sciences and for their commitment to developing exceptional thinkers and engaged citizens, The University of Guelph is like no other university in Canada. Research-intensive and learner-centered, their campuses span urban hubs and rural communities, accommodating over 30,000 students and serving almost 200,000 alumni.

The Alumni Affairs and Development builds lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, staff, faculty and friends of the University of Guelph. Their purpose is to support the University’s mission to Improve Life by building lifelong relationships with the community: alumni, donors and friends. Focusing on connecting donors with essential funding opportunities, creating meaningful engagement, leading best practices in Advancement, and driving the University’s standard of excellence, the department’s vision is for the University of Guelph to be personally relevant in the lives of their community members. Through these relationships, they aim to amplify the impact of philanthropy to create unique solutions for the challenges facing our world.
The external website – http://www.alumni.uoguelph.ca/ – was built on Drupal 7, and with support for the platform coming to an end, they needed a partner to help them redesign, rebuild, and migrate the site to the upgraded version, Drupal 9. The project was a highly collaborative effort, with Cheeky Monkey marketers, designers, and developers assisting the AA&D team by augmenting their in-house team and providing ongoing consultation and development.

The Work

Throughout the process, CMM worked with the AA&D team throughout multiple phases of the project. From consultation during discovery phases, the AA&D team was able to research competitive websites, draft a digital lifecycle to guide new online user journeys, and craft new wireframes as the basis of new creative design. Subsequently, the Cheeky Monkey Media development team was able to take a more hands-on approach, assisting with the migration of the site and content from their outdated D7 framework onto upgraded Drupal 9 themes and structure.

As well as performing intensive migration work, the CMM team assisted with the integration of new features designed to help the Department engage with alumni and stakeholders, increase reach, and enhance online giving.

The Solution

The solution was to create the site using a combination of Drupal 9, Gatsby, and React – The backend site built on Drupal, Frontend built on Gatsby, and the remaining components of the site would use react.

One of the larger challenges we faced was that throughout the process there were a number of design changes made, but the Cheeky team were quick to pivot as these decisions were made. Along with the changes, extra care also had to be taken to ensure that the site remained easy for the content editors to manage, and for users to browse.

Leave a Comment