YMCA of Metro Chicago Case Study

The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living.
YMCA of Metro Chicago mockup

Discovery & Design

The YMCA of Chicago, one of the largest Y’s in the country, came to us needing a complete overhaul of their program and membership registration system. All registration was being handled off-site apart from the Y’s website or onsite at their physical locations, both of which increased time and frustration of users resulting in low use. The YMCA of Chicago wanted to fully integrate the checkout process into their existing website, offering a quick and painless membership and program registration system.

Since their primary need was a registration system, we approached the project as a new site build that would seamlessly integrate into their existing site. This gave us the flexibility to build an entirely new system form the ground up while offloading traffic from their main site increasing response time. Branding and UX were to remain consistent to decrease confusion, and Y brand standards were maintained.

Our team met with the YMCA of Chicago, and developed consistent UX roadmap for the redesigned registration workflow, offering improved functionality and reduced checkout confusion. We also carefully scoped out the project and did initial discovery with Chicago’s API provider, CCC, to ensure that we had all the necessary information leading up to the buildout.


Step one of development was focused on creating all the custom API integrations with CCC. Several custom modules were created to handle all aspects of checkout, registration and account management. All API integrations were coded to reduce latency and improve functionality. We worked closely with CCC, helping them to improve their own API by providing them with debugging information and testing new features as they were implemented.

Our next step was building the checkout process itself. A team of backend developers worked to create a seamless checkout process that was PCI compliant, while our frontend developers themed the checkout workflow to match their existing brand standards. AJAX functionality was included to lazy load pages and decrease steps needed to complete checkout.

One of the biggest challenges faced was shaping CCC’s API responses into a uniform and consistent format that we could reliably utilize. All possible datasets had to be planned for, and contingencies had to be coded to ensure no downtime.

Throughout the build process, our developers consistently passed new functionality to our project managers to test. Once features were verified working in-house, we sent them to the Chicago YMCA team for final testing. Because of this approach, we minimized the QA time each time a new function was implemented.


The new Chicago YMCA registration site delivers a revitalized user experience across all devices. Data is transferred between the user and the API to ensure PCI compliance. Users can now easily search and register for programs, join the YMCA and administer their account without having to visit the local Y. The entire signup processes was simplified across the board.

Within 6 months of launching their new registration website, the YMCA of Chicago reported a huge increase in visits, membership, and revenue. The Chicago YMCA is now poised to be the brand leader in intuitive, easy checkout for YMCAs, and will continue to enjoy increased revenue due to their easy to use system.


  • Build a custom program and membership registration integrating the CCC API
  • Enable use of vouchers, coupons, referrals, gift cards, etc with the registration process
  • Integrate monthly drafting options into the checkout progress
  • Ensure PCI compliance through Bluefin

Core Solutions


  • Custom CCC API integrations for checkout and account management
  • PCI compliance through the integration of the Bluefin API


  • Customization of the Drupal Form API to create new methodologies for the multistep checkout process


  • Seamless functionality across all platforms and multiple screen sizes.
  • Existing brand standards were maintained

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Ryan Wyse