International education is the cornerstone for building a more understanding and peaceful world. With more than 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the leading organization committed to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today's interconnected world.

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Next Step in A Digital Journey

In 2017, the NAFSA team was at a critical point in its website journey. They were looking to reorganize and unify their content, find a way to take their website maintenance in-house and to update the design to allow for more graphics and videos. On top of that, the platform that the website was on was being phased out, forcing NAFSA to select a new content management system (CMS).   

They knew they needed a knowledgeable and reliable partner to help them transition to a new platform and to create a system that could grow with them and take the next step in their digital journey. This is where Unleashed came in. 

user experience
Improved user experience
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Increased Traffic
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Responsive design

A Thoughtful, Strategic Approach

One of the first things we did with NAFSA was to establish goals and set requirements for the new CMS. NAFSA was very transparent with the fact that they did not want to be forced to move quickly. Instead, they wanted to be strategic and thoughtful about this big decision.  

In turn, we presented NAFSA with all their options. We were honest with our recommendations and made sure that they had any of the information they needed to make the decisions that were right for them. Ultimately, we agreed that Drupal 8 was the best fit for them and would allow them the most flexibility moving forward. 

NAFSA Responsive

Setting the Standard

As NAFSA is committed to setting the standard for the level of excellence in their field, we were determined to set the standard of success for the website. We used the initial discovery to establish project objectives, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key System Attributes (KSAs).  

  1. Create a modern, responsive design with an improved user experience. 

  1. Improve membership experience and increase members. 

  1. Drive event attendance. 

  1. Present streamlined consumable information pages. 

  1. Effectively communicate NAFSA’s offerings. 

  1. Improve content management and scalability with the Drupal 8 platform. 

NAFSA Trapezoid


Creating a Strong Foundation

One of the key elements to helping NAFSA achieve their website goals was our extensive strategy work. We created user personas, user journey maps, a new content taxonomy, and content hierarchy recommendations. These were the backbone of design, content, and development decisions to ensure we were promoting the findability of content that was most important to a user and most effective at addressing the business needs.



Flexible Website and a Growing Relationship

At the end of the project, NAFSA had a new flexible website that allowed their passion for international education to shine through. Visitors are more engaged and can more easily find pertinent content, while administrators have a platform that can easily update website content for those visitors. 

The successful project has allowed our partnership with NAFSA to grow. Additionally, we have expanded our work with NAFSA to include their International Educator (IE) Magazine, advanced search tools, and the International Student Economic Value (ISEV) Tool. 

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