The Power of Knowledge

Digital platforms for accessible education

Plank opens the doors to learning

Education is one of the most important investments a person makes in their life. It prepares us for successful careers and enriches how we think of the world.

Educational institutions have to serve the interests of multiple stakeholders – potential and current students, faculty and staff, as well as partners and surrounding communities.

It’s easy for a large institutional website to get unruly. We provide structure to the array of information you need to provide and make it easy for multiple user types to find the answers to their questions.

We’ve also built innovative platforms to link researchers across departments and faculties, and to facilitate public engagement.

We have collaborated with teachers and publishers to create accessible digital resources for students from primary school to the university level.

We want to help you spark a love of learning

Our work helps you deliver the right information to the people who need it. We link students with services, researchers with collaborators, and educators with resources.

Read more about Plank’s work with universities and educators.

Concordia University

Our experience with Concordia University dates back to, well, when Plank’s founder studied in their Communications program…we won’t say how many years ago.

So we were excited to revamp their online research tool to better showcase the activities and accomplishments of their faculty, and reinforce their position as a leading academic institution. Explore Concordia is a flexible, adaptive web app that brings research to life and helps make connections across departments and faculties.

Our relationship continues with our work on an interactive mapping tool that will give a clear picture of the hundreds of Montreal-based projects that Concordia’s faculty, staff, and students are involved in. This tool is part of Concordia’s Embrace the City, Embrace the World strategic direction to amplify public engagement, and mobilize expertise around important current issues.

Check out Explore Concordia

McGill University

Plank is pleased to have worked with both the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), as well as the McGill Faculty of Law to improve user experience on their respective websites.

Plank redesigned the SSMU’s site in 2011, and was happy to work with them again on a re-organization and optimization in 2017. We performed a content audit and improved the navigation and site structure to better serve their users.  We redesigned the site on top of the existing WordPress framework, simplifying styles and adjusting the responsive layouts for mobile and tablet.

The McGill Faculty of Law was struggling with the management and maintenance of four websites that were running on a decade-old structure. We are working with them to reassess their users’ needs and create a strategy and design to enhance the content, structure, style, and usability across all four sites.

eCampus Ontario

eCampus Ontario selected Plank as the lead UX/UI agency in a project to develop and share accessible, open source textbooks for students across Ontario. We worked in partnership with Pressbooks and Agile Humanities to create a fresh design framework for both network catalogues and webbook content.

Our sprint-based process covered network pages, searchable catalogues, individual book homepages, and the layout of the textbooks themselves. We considered the needs of both book authors and readers, with clear entryways to each user section.

The prototype is intended for use by a wide variety of networks and communities, so the design is clean and easy to customize by adding logos, custom colours and content. The framework is designed to be responsive and optimized across all screen sizes, from smartphone to desktop.

From Vimy to Juno

Plank collaborated with the Juno Beach Centre Association to create a virtual accompaniment to their traveling exhibit on the role of Canadians in the two World Wars. A major focus of the work was to develop a resource for students and educators, with rich lesson plans for all grade levels, and the opportunity for students to explore timelines, personal narratives, and historical articles and photographs.

Soon we will be launching phase two, funded by the Virtual Museum of Canada, to create a deeper and more interactive treatment of the Canadian wartime experience. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the lives of Canadians who served in the First and Second World Wars through firsthand testimonials, archival photographs, personal memorabilia and historical articles, and learn about their motivations for enlisting, their service, their pre-war and post-war lives.

Check out From Vimy to Juno