Phillips Academy is the oldest incorporated academy in the United States, and one of the most prestigious.
The Andover Athletics site was outside of the school’s web ecosystem (on Sharepoint), out of date, and not optimized for mobile users.
The shortcomings of the current athletics site to meet modern expectations for usability was impacting everyone in the larger Andover community.
Athletics are a cornerstone of the Andover experience; 1100+ enrolled students and the full community participate in the athletics programs and use the Athletics site, which serves 67 interscholastic teams in 21 different sports.
As a trusted longtime maintenance partner, Solspace was well-positioned to develop the best possible new version of the Phillips Athletics site.
The new site included all previous functionality plus new capabilities, and once launched, was immediately embraced by the Phillips community.
Founded in 1778, Phillips Academy is the oldest incorporated academy in the United States, and one of the most prestigious. It is an independent, coeducational secondary school with an expansive worldview and a legacy of academic excellence. The school's renowned athletics program was significantly underserved by the current website. The coaches, the athletes, and families deserved a modern, mobile experience with a real-time calendar and up-to-date content. Additionally, the site was set up on Sharepoint, outside of Andover's Craft CMS ecosystem, and the graphic interface and user experience design were both out of date and out of step with the school's current visual branding.
The failure of the old site to meet modern expectations for usability impacted everyone in the larger Andover community. Athletics are a cornerstone of the Andover experience, and everyone in the community participates in some way in the athletics programs. Phillips Academy is an athletic powerhouse among New England private schools, with 67 interscholastic teams competing in 21 different sports. The site also supports the robust intramural programs offerings such as yoga, fencing, instructional skating, and Outdoor Pursuits. The limitations of the old Athletics Site were evident to all, with far-reaching impact on the community.
Solspace has long served as a trusted maintenance partner for Phillips Academy Andover. The Athletics site issues had been a topic of discussion for some time. When the mandate to update the Athletics Site finally came from the school, we worked with Andover's in-house web team to define the project, outline specifications, and plan for the build of the new Craft CMS version of the site as well as the migration of all content and data from the old Sharepoint location. Solspace's lead developer worked closely with Andover's lead developer at every step of the process, and the Andover team provided QA and testing support, and provided user feedback from the Athletics staff and other stakeholders.
After an ambitious timeline and development sprint, including content migration, functional testing, and new feature additions, it was launched. Andover leadership and the Athletics staff provided resoundingly positive feedback immediately. Coaches were thrilled to find that the mobile version of the site performed smoothly and reliably. The new dynamic calendar enabled them to update game scores on the bus as they drove home from the game with their team. And as players and their families began to use the new version of the site and find the up-to-date information they were looking for, the impact of the upgrades resonated throughout the larger Andover community. Everyone involved received some benefits from this project, which made the successful outcome very satisfying.