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Case Study Education Through Music A non-profit organization partnering with inner-city schools to provide music as a core subject for all students. ETM uses music education to improve academic achievement, drive motivation for school and boost self-confidence.

Changing lives through music education

Education Through Music believes that every child deserves access to high-quality music education, taught by qualified and well-trained music teachers. Serving 27,000 students across 48 schools, ETM uses music education to support learning in key areas including math, science, and language arts. Reaching beyond school walls, ETM brings parents and school communities together to drive student success.

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From The Beginning

ETM recognized that good design and strong user experience can hit all the right notes and drive engagement.
ETM came to us with a clear vision, supported by a prioritized FFA (Faceted Feature Analysis) and example wireframes, outlining page-by-page what they wanted to see in the design. ETM understood the value of quality video and photographic assets that became the building blocks of a memorable, inspiring site. With a limited budget and a desire for all the bells and whistles of a custom design, ETM was ripe for innovation.

The Request

ETM wanted a site that would draw visitors in and lead them through the story of who they are, who they serve, and how visitors can help. They needed a site that was as progressive and forward-thinking as they are. For our designers, the goal was innovative simplicity: delivering a site that is easy for the client to manage, without sacrificing design or user experience.

We wanted every element of the site to play harmoniously together, whether visitors came to the site by desktop or mobile device. By making ETM’s work with partner schools the focus of every page, the site drives visitors to actively engage in ETM’s life-changing mission.

Identifying The Goals
 Implement a mobile-first design  Create a dynamic user experience to inspire action  Craft a site that is easy to manage, extend, and adapt

Making The Delivery

ETM came to us with preliminary wireframes based on what they liked—and didn’t like—about their current site, their competition, and other sites that inspired them. We performed a faceted feature analysis based on these wireframes, breaking each page down into its critical features, creating user stories, and determining technical difficulty and level of priority.
After walking through the wireframes with the ETM team, we embarked on a discovery process that identified their “need to have” features that drive their business needs as well as user experience best practices. At the end of discovery we moved quickly through the design phase, focusing on the critical conversion path for visitors based on user type.
Moving into the development phase, we broke pages down to the module level to ensure the features that made up the site were as extendable and user-friendly as possible.

In the end we launched a site that gave ETM maximum flexibility to continue creating and updating pages, while maintaining the integrity of the design and user experience.

What We Did
 Integrated with third party partners and APIs to ensure seamless user experience along critical paths, based on user type  Transitioned from a Drupal-based site to WordPress without sacrificing quality, content, or customizability  Trained the ETM team on back end functionality so that they could easily manage the site with minimal support

How We've Grown & Learned

User Experience Includes the CMS Too

Tyler Baber, Digital Account Manager

We knew that ETM’s needs wouldn’t stop at site launch. It was our goal to ensure that their experience building, updating, and customizing the site in the future would be as seamless and hassle-free as possible. We designed the page modules to allow different styles with the click of a button, so that ETM can continue to expand their site and their content in a way that ensures every page looks unique while maintaining a stylistic harmony throughout the whole site.

Balance Flexibility With Design Integrity

Ami Ganguli, Senior Web Architect

Building enough flexibility into a new site to accommodate a wide range of use-cases—while still maintaining the integrity of the design—is always a challenge. A combination of generic, multi-purpose layouts and select single-purpose layouts allowed us to provide a site that met ETM’s needs, while remaining flexible enough for future expansion with a consistent look and feel.

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