Q&A With Ripple Effects Interactive
As we prepare for the site launch next Wednesday, August 15, we thought some people who had been following the blog might like to hear from the interactive agency partner we have had throughout this process. Ripple Effects Interactive has been a vital partner throughout this re-design. We hired them because of their talent and proven ability. They were experienced in higher ed but we felt we would not get just another university Web site. They have lived up to our expectations. And I think we have been good partners.
What follows is a Q&A with Kate Tomlinson, Client Services Director, that was done to go along with some other launch stories for next week.
Your firm has worked with other universities. What made NC State's redesign unique?
The amount of support and involvement from the NC State community at all levels was extremely unique. Jason Simon and others at NC State made sure there were many voices heard during the process, from our initial discovery meetings with faculty, staff, admissions, students, alumni, and other groups, through the design and development processes.
What sort of challenges did Ripple face?
NC State was determined to have deep input and support for the direction of the web site, which has been and will continue to be critical in its successful launch. That input, the articulation of the NC State brand, took time and meant a very iterative process. We kept working together until we found the design solution everyone felt great about. But we've all persevered to a great end result.
Was there anything about NC State that made such a laborious process easier?
For one, it's a great school with great people! The professionals we worked with at NC State understood how intricate the redesign process is, took ownership and paid amazing attention to detail. Clients who don't grasp the complexity or really think about what they want during the design process aren't as satisfied with the end product. NC State took the time to figure out their vision and set up an organization and processes to support the site during the production process and to be able to continually evolve it over time.
Was there anything about NC State that made it stand out when compared with other clients, especially other universities?
I think all of the things I mentioned above. The support at all levels of the NC State community for this initiative was extremely unique. Especially in a university of this size. The diligence and time put into making this site what they school wanted it to be is another.
Is Ripple going to stay involved with NC State, or is the relationship over once the hard launch occurs?
We hope so! We'd like to continue to help guide the evolution of the site and other web initiatives and have a long list of ideas. The web is the single most important medium to prospective college students. We hope it will not just make a lasting impression that helps students decide to attend NC State, but becomes an integral part of the experience for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We hope it's a site in which everyone feels pride and ownership.
Is there anything else you'd like to add about working with NC State during this process?
We hope everyone enjoys the site!