Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence Website Project

About The Client

Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence is one of eight Centers of Excellence supported by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which are dedicated to promoting education in various Minnesota industries. MTCOE was referred to us by another the Minnesota Agriculture Center of Excellence (AgCentric), who has been a client of ours since 2015. AgCentric was ecstatic about their new site, which was overhauled this past year and was happy to refer their fellow Center of Excellence partner to our services. Our team was beyond thrilled to not only take on another state project, but also to learn  their network was spreading positive word about our agency.

Ground Zero Objectives

Center the website around their three target users:

  • Prospective students, looking to start their career in a transportation profession
  • K-12 & College Educators looking to learn more about curriculum and the Career Exploration Trailer
  • Transportation Industry Leaders, looking for potential candidates and to get involved in the variety of MTCOE sponsored programs, such as the Career Exploration Trailer

Draw attention to their eight core transportation sectors, to educate potential students about which career opportunities each sector provides, as well as which Minnesota colleges offer programs in that specific sector.

  • Automotive Technology
  • Aviation
  • Collision & Repair
  • Diesel, Equipment, & Truck
  • Marine & Powersports
  • Specialty
  • Technology Education
  • Truck Driving

Another critical piece of the puzzle was to create a custom page to showcase their traveling Career Exploration Trailer. Members of the MTCOE team travel across Minnesota to bring students fun, interactive, hands-on activities to help them discover transportation career possibilities at the elementary level and beyond. The trailer is fully equipped with activities sponsored by dozens of Minnesota transportation industry pros, such as Luther Automotive & Walser Auto Group.

  • Trailer Activities
  • Dynamic Photo Gallery
  • Digital Request Form to streamline their intake process

Highlights of Design & Development

The aesthetic of the site was crucial to MTCOE’s vision, they wanted a website that would communicate their image as being an innovative leader in their network of centers of excellence, as well as portraying their brand as forward-thinking and cutting-edge to prospective students.

They wanted to wipe of the greasy stigma of which transportation careers have held for decades, and showcase that the transportation industry is more than getting under the hood of a vehicle, it is an advanced technological industry.

To convey this sense of high-tech innovation, we focused our efforts on the navigation of the website. The navigation was inspired by Heads Up Displays from our favorite futuristic movies, and the latest and greatest vehicle dashboard displays. After hours of brainstorming and collaborating together, we came up with a versatile solution that would not only visually showcase the many pages and links of the site, but also adapt seamlessly to tablet and mobile experiences.

Another key visual feature of the website is the various parallax effects and animations customized for the menu, homepage, and sectors pages. We wanted to translate motion and speed to tie in with the transportation theme of the site.

Major Improvements

New blogging technology replaces their outdated PDF newsletters and enables their team to make updates to their trailer schedule, promote upcoming events, and alert their users of important MTCOE news on the fly.

Their former website was optimized for mobile devices in some areas, but not throughout the site. Such as this area of the former career sector information. Overlapping of text and broken elements left the user frustrated and not sure what to click on, or what step to take next.

We corrected and improved the overall experience on smaller devices to mend any previously “broken” areas and tested the entire site across several devices and browsers to ensure an optimized experience.

Sectors on Mobile Phone–Before & After

The design for the Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence website was featured in the Best Government & Institution Website Designs on DesignRush and listed as one of the best website designs.

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