The MIT DAPER team of fun-loving and engaging professionals made working with them straightforward and enjoyable. We wanted to make sure that the websites showcased the depth and availability of their workout options, as well as membership choices, schedules, and athletic programs.
Creating a family of websites that hit the mark for MIT’s Department of Athletics required a thorough information architecture phase to think through how the common structure would work for all the programs, including physical education and wellness, club sports, and intramural sports.
MIT Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) is committed to the pursuit of excellence in creating an environment that educates, develops community, inspires leadership, and promotes wellness.
MIT Recreation Sports
MIT Recreation serves students, alumni, faculty, and the surrounding community. MIT Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center, or the Z-Center, is the central athletics facility at MIT, known to be one of the finest fitness facilities in New England.
MIT DAPER Website Design
MIT DAPER serves as the hub for all things athletic and wellness at the university. From the DAPER homepage, users can dive into the specific area of interest, where they’ll find a wealth of topic-specific knowledge. Each site was thoughtfully structured to clearly confirm its role and get visitors into the information they need. A common aesthetic keeps everything feeling clean and cohesive.
The MIT Rec site is the most unique of the pack. It had a number of functional needs, including displaying Group Exercise classes clearly, aggregating available courses including key registration and testing dates, and showcasing a dynamic pool schedule so users know exactly which lanes are available. From an aesthetic perspective, we wanted to communicate the energy of the facilities, so we incorporated a kinetic-looking graphic overlay on top of photographs.
Thinking through the mobile experience and ease of navigation for these sites was critical. It goes without saying that a key user group for the MIT Athletics websites is students. Also not surprisingly, this demographic relies heavily on mobile devices as their go-to for web browsing. We treated certain mobile pages very differently from their desktop view—group class schedules on MIT Rec being one example. The sites deliver a seamless mobile experience that would make any Gen Z-er smile (or at least scroll).
The actual sign-up or purchasing of classes was done through a third-party that had been handling this for quite some time. Our task was to create a user experience that made finding courses a breeze, and the carryover to the third party seamless.
Making the Cool Stuff Shine
MIT students can get certified as pirates! And while real pirates might not care about a piece of paper (perhaps too preoccupied with pillaging?), we think it’s pretty cool and wanted to find an interesting way to showcase the program. Arrrrrrr!
MIT Rec Website Press Release Video
When Jackrabbit’s design for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Recreation website took first place in the NIRSA Creative Excellence Awards, we wanted to do something fun to announce it. We headed to their facilities with our video gear and a rough outline of what we wanted to do. Using their expansive facilities, we shot various sports with the athletes calling out highlights of the new site. It made for a much more creative “press release”, and had the added benefit of showing off the space and the team!