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Re-Code is an initiative of the McConnell Foundation that helps Canadian colleges and universities build a more just and sustainable world by fostering collaboration across institutions and sectors. Schools can draw upon a wealth of academic resources, technical know-how and research pools. And yet, they also have other assets that can drive social and economic equality, including financial, physical, and relational resources. Re-Code helps identify and share the many ways that these institutions can capitalize on the sum total of their social infrastructure.

The Re-Code program started out by providing grants to 26 colleges and universities across Canada when it launched in 2014. But its role as a capacity builder and a convenor had grown rapidly, along with its national impact. Re-Code was also generating valuable content and documents that were highly relevant to educational institutions — at a rate that was far faster than the website could accommodate. In fact, the site was bursting at the seams and was no longer a usable product. The program’s evolution required a rethink of its online communications along with a shift in messaging.

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McConnell Foundation came to Manoverboard with a need to update its brand, messaging and content strategy. We started with a full content audit of the existing Re-Code website and partnered with a writer to begin the process of updating the core messages. We met with key stakeholders, including the McConnell team, academics and students who had accessed the program. We then examined program audiences and, based upon user personas, created a tight yet flexible information architecture that would facilitate site ease of use among future Re-Code site users. Existing pages were either fully re-written or combined with other pages and website navigation was restructured to accommodate past, present and future content. A new visual identity was created to reflect the initiative’s optimism and dynamism and the emergent connection between education and community.

  • 26 initial grant recipients
  • 100 universities and colleges
  • 10 active major projects

In addition to content consolidation, we also bridged two separate blogs into a single and more robust news archive, making it far easier to find what you’re looking for. Resource archives were also re-organized and a more intuitive filtering and search system was implemented to aid in locating specific content. The resulting site is fully bilingual in French and English and is built to be accessible to those with disabilities. It’s also extremely fast, built on a WordPress platform customized specifically for the Re-Code program’s content strategy needs. With the new site, we look forward to watching Re-Code continue to achieve its goals of increasing access to education, building collaborations between schools and communities, and advancing social and environmental issues at Canadian educational institutions.

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Thank you so much for the very, very hard work on this site, and creating for us something we couldn't even imagine before we began! It's a pleasure to work with this new site infrastructure, and it was so wonderful working with the Manoverboard team.

—Kelly Hodgins, Program Officer, Re-Code
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