An expanding event needs a more robust website
Remake Learning Days is a public festival of hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning events that engage both youth and families. In 2018, Remake Learning Days saw 270 organizations and schools participate and approximately 20,000 attend events across southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Remake Learning Days came to us in 2019 as they were preparing to expand to five more regions across America. They wanted an impactful website to serve parents, community members, and event host organizations, such as schools and libraries.
They needed a solution permitting management of regional content by regional leaders, and clear navigation and differentiation between national and regional content. A detailed event calendar – featuring robust search, filtering, and event location abilities – was a must. And submission of public events, with moderation based on the region, needed to be handled gracefully and easily. In total: all of these capabilities in a visually appealing, consistently branded, mobile-friendly site.
Social Media Impressions
Strategy, form, and function
Understanding the critical objectives of providing a mobile-friendly website, including powerful event search and extensive regional content, we first put a heavy emphasis on discovery, planning, and execution.
We began with a design discovery process, researching the organization and target market. To understand how the website was used in previous years, we analyzed historical behavioral data, audited similar websites, researched search design patterns, and interviewed stakeholders outside the organization.
Using our brand framework, we identified key brand attributes, primary messaging, and core values which would inform the visual tone of the website.
Our findings were used to produce a strategy document that guided our design process. We took a mobile-first approach to design, considering the best mobile experience first, and then assuring that this experience translated well to tablets and computers.
We built the site on WordPress – leveraging existing technologies and plugins to lay the foundation – and adding our own custom code to fulfill all the business requirements, such as event review and approval workflow, regional content roles, custom editor permissions, the personalized event search system, and others.
Dated design and inconsistent content holds Council back
The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is a non-profit that works to protect the Huron River. Their website is a destination for many different audiences – school children researching the local environment, community members who want to volunteer, teachers planning a curriculum, potential donors seeking a worthy cause, journalists looking for a story, and others.
When HRWC came to us their site was not mobile-friendly, despite 26% of visitors using mobile devices. From a design perspective, the site said, “I’m partying like it’s 1999.” (In other words, it was quite out-of-date and not in a “princely” way.)
There was an abundance of content, much of it dated, making it difficult to find current and important information. The tone and writing style varied widely from page to page. It was clear that some pages were written by scientists, and others by communications professionals.
HRWC needed a more consistent brand voice and image across their site, updating their wealth of information and making it easy to find in a visually compelling, mobile-friendly site.
Strategy, form, and function
We started by researching HRWC’s diverse target audiences, then dove into user behavior on the existing site. Using insights discovered, we crafted a design strategy that included the reorganization of content on the site.
We revamped and relabelled their navigation system, prioritizing the most desired and frequently accessed content, and moving less critical elements into utility and secondary navigation. We designed new navigational elements to aid “find-ability” within the deeper content sections of the site.
We immersed ourselves in the HRWC brand, amplifying connections between their mission and the audiences they target. We created an engaging, panoramic design that draws users into the rich visual nature of the organization, and tells a story about why their efforts matter and how individuals can get involved.
The final design was a mobile-friendly, visually striking, and emotionally engaging storytelling experience that’s easy to use.
The 3.7 Design team created a gorgeous website for the Huron River Watershed Council. The design is inspiring, we’ve been told by visitors that the navigation is easy, and the backend is simple to manage. 3.7 created a Resource Library for our 500+ publications, encrypted our email links to protect us from spam, and made everything fit to all screen sizes (mobile optimized.) The team was both fun and polished: throughout the project I found them to be creative, nice, professional, talented, and I could tell they cared about the product. Their pricing was excellent too. They’ve earned each shiny star I gave them for this rating.Anita Daley, Marketing Director