The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) serves one of the biggest and fastest growing school systems in the United States. Home to 5 of the 15 largest individual school districts nationwide, the FDOE serves more than 2.7 million students in the state’s more than 4,200 public schools and 28 colleges. As Florida’s school system has grown, so have the demands for making more information and self-service functionality accessible online.
Having outgrown its previous website and platform as a result, the
FDOE now required an updated website that:
- Easily allowed them to add, edit and manage all content on the site
- Had a clean, modern-looking design
- Offered simple navigation and access to all information within 3 clicks
- Facilitated the needs of their core constituents: teachers, school
administrators, students and parents
- Was optimized for all screen sizes and mobile device types
- Featured an interactive news feed and video gallery
- Enabled social media integration
- Could scale to accommodate up to 100,000 concurrent users
The FDOE partnered with DigitalUs to craft a website solution that met all of its needs. To gain a better understanding of how the new website should be designed, DigitalUs met with and extensively interviewed FDOE staff and other key stakeholder groups. By developing an understanding of how users were interacting with the site, DigitalUs suggested restructuring the navigation around Centers of Excellence – Academics, Schools, Teaching, Accountability and Finance. Additionally, the site was designed to be more visually clean, with increased white space and a larger, easy-to-read font. DigitalUs also designed a “Fat Footer” with links to key pages that travels from page to page with the user.
The site was built with the enterprise content management system, Solodev CMS, and includes several custom functionality modules that make it easy for FDOE staff to keep site content fresh with news, images, videos and announcements. The site leverages responsive design, a technique used to make sure a website looks perfect across a whole range of screen sizes - whether on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a large desktop monitor.
DigitalUs migrated 3,500 pages of content from the previous site along with 20,000 total digital assets such as documents, images and media files. After the site was initially developed and populated with content, FDOE staff quickly learned the Solodev CMS and took full ownership by adding new sections, pages and content in preparation for launch.
The new FDOE site is ADA compliant and the improved navigation makes it easier for users to quickly find the most requested content. And because the site uses responsive design, it relies on a single instance of content, eliminating the need for a specific mobile version of the site. In fact, Google looks more favorably at responsively designed sites and rewards them in its search rankings.
Additionally, DigitalUs configured and provides ongoing management of the site’s robust hosting environment. Currently averaging nearly 30,000 users per day, the site was developed to scale in response to peak demand periods and has more than enough capacity to accommodate the aforementioned 100,000 concurrent users, when necessary.