Modernizing Kellogg’s Codebase with a Targeted Redesign
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is a top global business school with the mission to educate, equip, and inspire leaders who can build strong organizations and wisely leverage the power of markets to create lasting value. Kellogg has a rich legacy of transforming business education and shaping future business leaders through its wide portfolio of MBA, EMBA, Ph.D., and Executive Education programs across its U.S. and international campuses. Realizing that their Sitecore website’s codebase had become outdated, the Kellogg digital and creative team enlisted Velir to help bring it up to modern standards while preserving compatibility with current code through a targeted website redesign.
Kellogg School of Management initially connected with Velir in 2018 for Sitecore consulting and development services. After we established a track record of successful collaboration, Kellogg approached us in 2021 for help refactoring their website’s codebase. Over time, their codebase became outdated, and they needed help bringing it up to modern standards. They also wanted to tie these updates into a targeted redesign of their website, so they could improve the site’s user experience and conversion rates in tandem with its performance.
For this targeted redesign—which needed to revamp 16 different pages—Kellogg’s team created the page designs. Their designers looked to us for advice on how they could tweak these designs in a modular, component-based way to streamline development. Then they asked us to implement the code and components from the designs so the new elements of the site could seamlessly interact with the preexisting ones.
Kellogg’s challenges included:
- Refactoring their website’s codebase to meet modern development standards
- Tying large updates to their codebase into a targeted redesign of their website
- Tweaking their designs in a modular, component-based way to streamline development
- Bringing new code and components online that could seamlessly interact with the preexisting ones
To achieve success with this project, we worked closely with Kellogg’s team, providing regular updates to help them understand what we were creating. We also collaborated with them on writing tickets to keep our developers working consistently in two-week sprints. The specifications that we wrote for our developers had them rebuild the notable pages like the Homepage, the Experience page, and many other essential topic and detail pages.
Our teams worked seamlessly to create these pages and build components that could live within legacy code. For instance, we redesigned the site’s header and footer so that it would function properly on pages from the old code base.
To ensure successful handoffs between our teams, we did multiple training sessions and code reviews to empower the Kellogg team moving forward. Not only did we do demos and code reviews as we delivered new components, but we did an all-encompassing review at the end of the project as well.
Because this was a targeted redesign, and not a full refactoring of all their site’s code, we partnered with Kellogg to create a high-level technical roadmap for three more years of continued website development. We determined how to scale this massive undertaking into manageable pieces in years two and three to accomplish the end goal of retiring all their legacy code. The roadmap contained our recommendations for the order in which site sections and technical libraries should be migrated and retired to achieve a fully functional, refactored site.
Our approach included:
- Collaborating with Kellogg on technical requirements to keep developers working consistently in two-week sprints
- Building components that could successfully live side-by-side with legacy code
- Performing multiple training sessions and code reviews to empower Kellogg’s team moving forward
- Crafting a high-level technical roadmap to lay out the order in which to complete the necessary activities to achieve a fully refactored site
We launched the revamped code and 16 redesigned pages of Kellogg’s site in March of 2022. Their team felt confident managing the new components and pages moving forward, especially with the roadmap of post-launch changes we laid out for them.
During the post-launch period, Kellogg worked with a subset of our team to craft new designs and write new specifications so that we could pick things up at a faster pace once we start the next phase of the project. During this period, we also helped them with enhancements to content authoring to make their site management more efficient. With fresh designs and specifications, we’re poised to kick off another year-long engagement of continued component development based on our technical roadmap.
- Revamped code and 16 redesigned website pages, including a new homepage
- A confident client team ready to manage new components and pages moving forward
- Enhanced content authoring to make site management easier
- A technical roadmap to guide the next two years of this project