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The customer

Skyline College n in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco, believes in students’ optimism, is inspired by their passion, and is driven by a commitment to empowering all students to achieve their educational goals.

Skyline College empowers students to find success at every point in their educational journey. The team is committed to readily accessible information on the College website. The Skyline College Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations office, working with the District Information Technology Services, identified Funnelback as a part of the solution to that challenge.

The challenge

Skyline College was faced with a number of challenges that their Google search solution could not solve. Reducing call volume across departments and support centers could save money and boost student and prospect satisfaction. Moving away from an expensive, manually-updated “knowledge base” could reduce duplication of efforts when other pages were updated. And a one-size-fits-all search solution that couldn’t integrate with multiple data sources made search a frustrating endeavor for admins and end-users.

Accessibility was also a challenge for the team at Skyline College. The staff sought to meet minimum ADA 508 and WCAG 2.0 requirements, identified as critical for student success.

As well as ensuring accessibility across the websites, Skyline College needed to:

  • Unify students resources with one search
  • Move away from generic search
  • Eliminate manual knowledge base & reduce duplication of efforts
  • Funnelback search is a game-changer... The ability for a student to find information quickly and easily can often be the difference in their academic success

    Christopher Smith
    Web Programmer / Analyst
    The approach

    A highly flexible platform was needed, to cater to diverse search requirements. Squiz deployed a smart and robust Funnelback search implementation.

    Then implemented a self-service question-bank solution that allowed students to type questions and it would provide them with the ‘best’ answers based on a knowledgebase of answers that we had to manually maintain. Populating the knowledgebase and keeping the content up-to-date was time-consuming and just not sustainable. This aligned with the Skyline College objective of being able to empower students and the community so they are able to find solutions to their questions quickly.

    Funnelback allowed Skyline College to have a central location for the students to search multiple locations and get relevant results. It also gave them flexibility in customizing the ranking of the results so they could ensure more pertinent information showed near the top.

    With the ability to ingest content from college APIs, Funnelback also prompted the use or creation of new APIs for many web services at Skyline. As a result, course, degree, and employee information can be integrated throughout digital properties without re-entering information. This approach helped the team query data from the original location instead of recreating it.

    Funnelback exceeded our expectations and made the implementation seamless. It was like having an extension of your own team who are responsive, hard-working but also offer suggestions to enhance the overall project

    Jasmine Robinson
    Director of Web Services
    The results

    The accessibility auditor tool in Funnelback presented a solution that allowed the team at Skyline College to see the content not meeting ADA or WCAG requirements. It does not only provide all students with access to the same information, but it also eliminates inequities and allows the Skyline College to implement  ‘universal design’ best practices making the site more intuitive for all users.

    The Funnelback Concierge provides instant results as users type, including course, people, and degree results next to live web results to save users time and send them directly to the correct result.

    Robust course search allows students to fine-tune search offerings to fit their interests and availability, then favorite and shortlist those of particular interest to aid the registration process.

    Crucially, Skyline College was empowered to provide its students and community with an accessible and easy-to-use experience.

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