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The Harvard University Graduate School of Design School (GSD) is one of the nation’s leading centers for education, information, research and technical expertise on the built environment. The GSD engaged Cabengo in 2001 to re-architect and re-design the top level of its existing website, which was some 50,000 pages in size.

After a successful 6-year run, the GSD sought a fresh look, a new homepage with areas for dynamic content, and improved usability. They contracted Cabengo to gather intelligence on internal needs, clarify priority audiences and objectives, and help define the mandate and scope for a re-design effort. Based on findings, we proposed an interim solution that would preserve the existing architecture and backend but allow for new front end design.

Cabengo’s contemporary, modular design features a series of large, spontaneous, “slice of life” images that provide a glimpse into the inner life of the school. Each photo in the series triggers a custom palette for the two adjacent content blocks, adding a dynamic color component to the page. Elegant custom scroll bars enable users to access additional content. The new homepage also features a dynamic gallery of student work, underscoring the GSD’s commitment to education. We re-designed interior templates, standardized styles for all page elements to improve usability, and developed a style guide to direct GSD developers during implementation.

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