Wingspans’ primary audience is digital natives — young, tech-savvy users who expect fast, frictionless interactions and relevant content. Fail to deliver, and they’ll abandon you in a heartbeat.
The new platform needed to provide a scalable, flexible foundation for a range of content and tools being developed by the Wingspans team. We had to turn a collection of disparate pieces — story content, user data, school information, and more — into a cohesive digital framework that could grow and evolve. Above all, Wingspans needed a design-first approach, wrapping the educational aspects in an intuitive, engaging digital experience.
While storytelling formed the heart of the Wingspans platform, the site’s interactive features would be crucial for getting students to explore and engage with the content. Building on Lindsay’s familiarity with the educational market, we mapped out the content architecture, workflows, and functions for a host of interactive features to keep students engaged.
For the tech stack, we turned to a mix of microservices to provide a stable, flexible, and scalable architecture with lightning-fast performance. These included a Gatsby front end, Firebase database, AWS cloud storage, Algolia site search, Cosmic JS content management system, and more. We also worked to ensure the technology reflected Lindsay’s empathy-driven approach. For instance, we customized Algolia to deliver search results specifically tailored to a student’s profile and interests—in other words, an encyclopedia that understood its users and presented its information in a distinctly human way.
Real people’s career stories
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The platform’s most impactful feature is how easily students can find and bookmark career stories that resonate with who they are. With over 700 stories and 40 mini-documentaries available, each with an associated set of lessons, the site’s personalized search function and ultrafast content delivery are key. On the backend, the customized CMS and robust content architecture make it easy for the Wingspans team to align content with users’ profiles and browsing activity.
Bringing it all together, the Career Builder feature lets students select stories and content to create a customized career roadmap that they can share with parents, teachers, and counselors. A core element of the platform’s personalized user experience, the Career Builder brings Wingspans’ central premise to life: If you can see it, you can be it.