University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension

Client:  As UCLA Extension reaches it centenary, it continues to serve as the oldest and largest continuing higher education institution in California. UCLA Extension provides opportunities for professional growth and continuing education, and addresses personal enrichment needs of the alumni, professionals and employees of companies in the US and worldwide.

SSI – Xcelacore Collaboration:  Xcelacore, a Chicago based technology and digital marketing firm, worked in collaboration with SSI to collectively design and deliver the projects assigned by Xcelacore’s client UCLA Extension. Both teams developed a search revamp project, performed complete assessment of their technology architecture, presented a proposal for enterprise scale data warehousing, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based website, and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

Search Revamp Project:

Challenge: A website powered by Destiny was launched after the initiation of UCLA’s Destiny Information System in 2016.The website’s existing search module showed delayed search results and did not meet user expectations. In order to achieve UCLA’s strategic initiatives, a highly reliable, scalable, fault-tolerant, and variable search engine solution was required.

Solution: A dedicated team of Xcelacore and SSI resources carried out a thorough analysis of business requirements and user expectations, and proposed a tailored search solution. Working with Xcelacore’s on-shore team, SSI used agile methodology for all phases of the project. Performance issues were resolved by shifting the existing platform to SolR/Apache Lucene. After a detailed study into user data and functional requirements, the following features were developed:

  • Quick search functionality and user-friendly UI/UX
  • Industry-wise custom search terms with auto-suggestion options in the search box
  • Ability to apply multiple filters and search course options by title, description, course numbers, instructor name etc.
  • Spell checking using SolR and auto-correct suggestions
  • Mobile optimized search results

 Results: The client experienced marked improvement in the course discovery process for prospective students.

Tools and Technologies: