Since 2008, the organization was represented by a digital experience and website presence that:
- Lacked engaging storytelling.
- Did not adequately showcase the rich content resources NEA offers to its members and supporters.
- Was fragmented across a main website, magazine site, and more than a dozen microsites.
- Was supported by more than 10 technology platforms.
- Had more than 28,000 instances of outdated content.
- Had an experience design that was largely transactional and not designed to build relationships with visitors.
- Was built upon an antiquated content management system that limited the organization’s ability to respond and adapt to its audiences.
In 2019, NEA engaged Echo&Co to commence a website redesign and digital experience transformation project to help address and resolve these challenges.
ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION & IMPROVEMENTS
AUTHORING EXPERIENCE & WORKFLOW DEFINITION
CHANGE DESIGN & MANAGEMENT
CMS EVALUATION & SELECTION
CONTENT STRATEGY & DEFINITION
DRUPAL DEVELOPMENT & INTEGRATION
GOVERNANCE & TRAINING
PRODUCT STRATEGY, ROADMAPPING, & DEFINITION
RESPONSIVE USER INTERFACE & INTERACTION DESIGN
SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE & INTEGRATION
USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH, DEFINITION, & DESIGN
When we started our work with NEA, we had no idea that a year later we’d be facing a global pandemic. We were working on reinventing the organization’s web presence as an online service platform where education professionals could find support for workplace issues, career development, engaging parents and communities, creating more just and equitable schools, and helping students succeed. When life and learning moved fully virtual — this work became even more critical.
Additionally, NEA wanted to use the redesign initiative to promote a culture shift within the organization.
Taking a community-led approach to design
Echo&Co was tasked with helping the organization move from a user experience and content strategy that mirrored its internal operations to one that served the needs, preferences, and motivations of members, supporters, and affiliates. Taking a community-led approach to the redesign, our team used discovery, research, and organizational learning to shift internal minds and behaviors toward a new common vision for what NEA could achieve online.
"It was critical to take a systems approach to NEA’s content, to look at the people, processes, and platforms needed to help them succeed with change. It meant that we ended up with a product that was needed, wanted, is manageable now, and can grow with the organization into the future."
—Anna Kassinger, Content Strategist & Information Architect, Echo&Co
Architecting a streamlined digital experience
To create a connected and engaged user experience across online and offline channels, we defined a content and experience strategy that reinforced holistic relationships among NEA’s affiliates, partners, constituencies, and most engaged members and supporters. It was important to repeat, reinforce, and reimagine NEA’s strategic priorities throughout the new experience, as well as elevate important issue areas.
“With such a robust content strategy project involving many important stakeholders, it was critical for us to design a content management system (CMS) which embedded as much governance around content as possible. The system needed to play a key role in ensuring that content written by many different authors across the organization conformed to the content strategy. This helped to ensure that the tone, voice, and purpose of the content all were strategic and consistent.”
—Peter Sax, Partner & CTO, Echo&Co
Setting up educators for success
NEA’s 3 million members and allies are better equipped with the tools and resources they need to set up students for success, excel in their careers, and participate in/dive deeper into civic engagement and social advocacy activities. Everyone can feel satisfaction in knowing that their collective work, feedback, and impact resulted in a web experience that accurately reflects and showcases the value of NEA’s work and the power within its community.
"We are so happy and grateful for Echo&Co’s partnership. This is a game changer for our members and our organization. Thank you!”
—Jessalyn Kiesa, Associate Director, Digital Engagement, NEA
We succeeded with what we set out to accomplish — to break the cycle of redesigns and create a new digital experience platform for NEA. While we're still working together to continue to evaluate, optimize, and enhance the experience with new features, we're proud of what we've achieved.
- Educators are able to quickly and easily locate the resources and tools they need to successfully do their jobs.
- Education professionals now have a streamlined digital experience that accounts for the many complex, nuanced ways that their varied audiences engage, and reflects the value of their individual work and the power of their community.
- Education professionals are better able to engage in advocacy activities, take on leadership roles, and mobilize other members of the community. (This is how moments become movements.)
- NEA staff and affiliates feel supported, valued, and an important part of leading NEA's digital engagement strategy into the future.
- The new site facilitates both new discovery and recurring research through simplified browsing and searching, connecting website visitors directly with their areas of interest (e.g.: Racial Justice, LGBTQ+, Women’s Leadership, ESSA, Higher Ed).
- Users have a more streamlined experience with the consolidation of NEA’s websites and content management platform.
- NEA’s most loyal repeat visitors are treated to a sophisticated site search and comprehensive resource library.
- The new site lays the foundation for continuous improvement.