The AIAS website had been created in-house from a purchased WordPress template, and several employees had subsequently worked on it. Hundreds of plugins were installed, and the website frequently crashed or had loading issues.

There were also functionality restrictions that were holding them back from creating the best experience possible for their members, such as highlighting competitions, news, and events. These limitations were also preventing them from attracting new members and additional chapters.

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American Institute of Architecture Students website design detail

The Solution

The starting point for this project was to create a content strategy for housing all of the different aspects of the organization. There are hundreds of chapters located around the world, as well as concurrent events, promotions, competitions, and more; creating a clear strategy for organizing such disparate information was crucial to the project’s success.

With a younger audience in mind, the design needed to be fun and colorful. All of the organization’s news can be assigned a custom color, allowing them to create a striking collage of news and updates.

Chapters can now be identified through an interactive map, by Quad, or through a list of schools. Information can be tagged to different schools, areas, and more through a taxonomy system that makes updating the complex site simple and straightforward. They can turn events on and off, add galleries of images, upload new resources, add crew members, upload podcasts, and more.

By creating a custom WordPress website that is well coded and doesn’t rely on tons of plugins, as well as installing the website on an appropriate hosting platform for the size and traffic of the site, the site performs consistently and loads quickly.

The new design is a better reflection of the culture at AIAS, and the site is mobile responsive, which allows their younger demographic to easily stay up to date.


Creating Stability and Structure

While building a stable site was one of the main goals, creating a design that would work well, be organized, have extremely flexible editing, and catch student interest wasn’t far behind. With so many events and programs running simultaneously, creating non-competing calls to action was paramount, something we accomplished by utilizing multiple shapes, colors, and content types in a harmonious way.

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