Designing Digital Solutions for a Growing Initiative

Growth is a good thing, usually. But growth means change: new goals, different staff, and a shifting marketing landscape. Invent Penn State’s been through it all. In the years since the initiative began, it’s grown from an idea, to a brand, to a state-wide university, political, and business entity touching all aspects of university/industry relationships — and a lot more besides.

We’ve been supporting their team through it all. As the initiative grew in sophistication, we’ve created new digital solutions to help them reach their goals. As those goals change, we’re along for the ride, with an ongoing partnership that helps us match their digital presence to the current priorities of their ever-changing world.

Project Goals

1

Planned, strategic web presence

More than a website, IPS needed a web presence that would reach multiple audiences, explain the initiative’s role, and showcase its increasingly public brand. It also had to account for other digital tools in their world.

2

Unique digital tools

IPS needed sophisticated navigators to let web users access continuously updated databases of information.

3

A website that grows with you and your team

Like we mentioned: change happens. Through staff turnover, IPS has needed different types of support at different phases in their growth, ranging from hands-on development and content management to more strategic/design work. They needed a website — and a marketing team — that could pivot with them.

4

The right foundation for metrics that matter

Measurement matters. As IPS grows, different metrics come into focus. They need digital tools that allow measurement of what matters, today.

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Through our work on the navigators for IPS, users are able to easily find and sort through hundreds of resources available to support their project.

Strategy

Our long-term relationship with IPS has been key to all our work together. From our early work supporting their brand and strategic direction, we’ve been at the table to help understand their audiences, clarify goals, and decide how to meet them. As they’ve grown, we’ve brought that deep strategic relationship to the digital side of their world.

Design

Designing IPS’s digital solutions haven’t been simple, but the end results had to feel simple to users. The website had to be on-brand–for more than one brand at once. Balancing university and unit visual identities is nothing new in higher ed, and we’re experts at avoiding the “logo soup” look. At the same time, they needed custom-designed web tools. We delved into our UI knowledge to create digital solutions that were incredibly sophisticated behind the scenes while remaining intuitive for the site’s audiences. They like our solution so much they’re using it for three separate databases!

Development

Over the years, we’ve been able to support the development of IPS web tools as needed. When the group was small with no in-house developer, we played that role. And when they grew and hired for development specifically, we handed over the keys to the kingdom, continuing to design and strategize about digital presence while IPS develops their websites in-house. That’s what it means to be a real, long-term partner.

Analytics and Data

It’s no longer enough for any web tool to look good and to work. It has to be measurable. As IPS has grown, their need for data has become more specific and sophisticated. We’ve made sure that the design and function of their website and other web tools keep up. It’s right where we fit: the marriage of design, strategy, and digital analytics.

Awards and Recognition
CP Squared logo

2016 CP2 Bracket Award

Category: Website

Every website build is unique and presents challenges, However, one thing that never changes is the immense sense of accomplishment when one is finished, Invent Penn State was no different. The team at Invent Penn State needed a website to showcase their wins. The tricky part was how quickly they were receiving wins! A customized website that is extremely user-friendly allowed for their team to nimbly update the website. Oh, and add in three filterable navigators for prospects to filter through resources. Just another day!

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At Rowland, we take pride in being knowledgeable, experienced, and accessible. We're ready to talk about how we can help you meet your higher ed marketing goals.