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IES Abroad

Award Category 
Drupal Version 
This website looks great on mobile devices!
Brief Overview 

From its headquarters in Chicago to its 100 study abroad programs in 36 locations
 worldwide, IES Abroad’s mission is to create authentic global education and life-
affirming cultural experiences. The organization actively recruits students from diverse
 populations and provides more than $2 million in scholarships year after year.

The IES Abroad website met all the business objectives. In doing so there were a number of innovative achievements including:

1) Integration with Backend Systems: Developed by a third-party IT team,
 IES’ backend API combined the organization’s CRM and other systems. Duo 
leveraged this API to ensure data entered into user accounts on the front-end 
traveled to the backend for simple collection, storage and organization.

2) Business Process Enablement: At on-campus live events, IES reps pass
out “blue” cards where students fill out basic information. Data from the blue

cards is manually entered into the system.

3) Customized Program Registration: IES uploads a CSV file with student data for a program that is customized for a group of students of a particular class or university. Once the CSV is uploaded, student accounts are created for each data row and the student receives an email with login details. Once logged in, they complete their online application for the customized program that has already been started for them so they may complete the registration process.

4) Responsive Design: The Drupal 7 website is also a responsive design permitting it to display properly on multiple mobile, tablet and desktop computing devices without re-directing visitors to a mobile stylesheet.

Launch or Publication Date 
Monday, October 15, 2012
IES Abroad mobile website
Key Modules, Theme, and Distribution Used 
Apache Solr, Organic Groups, Panels, Rules, CTools,
Why these Modules, Theme, and Distribution were Chosen 

Organic Groups delivers content to different registered users based on the groups they belonged to

Panels Module is used to help in themeing and layout

Rules Module is used to automate backend processes when new users are created

Owner's Name 
IES Abroad
Development Company 
Duo Consulting
Duo utilizes Drupal open-source technologies to create content-rich websites accessible through traditional and mobile platforms. Duo is committed to supporting the Drupal community through its membership in the Drupal Association, sponsorship of U.S. Drupalcons including Portland, contributed module development & maintenance, host of the Chicago Drupal Meetup Group and more.
Why Drupal Was Chosen 
IES initiated the project internally in Drupal because their personnel were familiar with the platform. They soon recognized the need for additional resources to provide a higher level of expertise. Duo had been cooperating with the strategic and UX design and provided complementary Drupal services to augment IES staff resources
Describe the Project (Goals, Requirements, and Outcome) 

When IES Abroad brought Duo Consulting onboard, the initial relationship was one of 
"Discovery" —the creation of wireframes, focus group research and interaction design for a new website. But that wouldn’t be where the relationship ended. As the project progressed, Duo 
and IES Abroad would agree to engage for Drupal development work as well.

The innovative design eventually featured three main top-navigation elements;

  • a quick-pick drop-down
 menu based on program location
  • a revolving showcase for featured content
  • auto-updating feed for student blogs and news

Because the site serves a student population, there wasn't any question that a mobile presence was essential. The site was developed responsively to eliminate the need for redirection to a mobile domain and to provide the best experience for site visitors.

Type of Nomination 
Additional developers