A new 10-year-plan led The California Endowment to seek
out help to transform their site and communicate their new plan.
This new 10 year plan needed to be communicated on their website, as they sought to increase their impact on providing health equity and pursue social justice for all Californians.
Besides needing to communicate their new vision, the site itself needed a makeover. An outdated design and an overwhelming navigation and architecture left visitors confused, disoriented, and lacking a full picture of what The California Endowment did. Both website visitors and internal stakeholders struggled trying to find specific information on the site, and the site contained a lot of outdated content, resulting in broken links and bad SEO.
After conducting extensive key stakeholder interviews, we dove deep into a website audit, analytics audit, and usability testing. For the usability testing, we used a tool that allowed us to observe anonymous website visits so we could see what pages people were going to on the site, where they were getting lost or confused, and what issues they ran into.
We pulled from what we learned during our deep dive into data to build out the user experience strategy (UX) for the redesign.
The first thing we focused on was creating a new and more efficient site map that simplified access to the valuable information visitors were looking for. At the same time we were laying out the site map, we were also defining the content strategy for the redesigned website. The content strategy was central to ensuring only up-to-date and relevant content would remain on the site, and helped us identify content gaps that existed where new content would need to be created to fully tell the story of the new 10 year plan.
After the site map and content strategy were in place, it was time to wireframe the structure of the site. Wireframing allowed us to lay out the priority of content on each page across the site, to ensure an optimal user journey. As a very collaborative process, wireframing gave the team at The Califonia Endowment an accurate preview at how the new site was structured and allowed us to iterate rapidly together to create an ideal user flow.
Design is where things come to life as we pulled together the colors, images, fonts, and iconography that would best represent who The California Endowment is.
For the fonts used on the site, we chose an accessible, uplifting, and friendly sans serif font that gave a nod to the optimistic vision pursued by The California Endowment. The color palette for the site echoes these same optimistic and inclusive tones, being grounded in a bright golden color (giving a nod to the “Golden State”) and a deep, compassionate blue. The imagery used across the site shows the action, movement, and change that The California Endowment seeks to bring while pursuing their mission, and embodies the Californians they serve. Even the micro-animations we planned during this phase hinted at upward mobility.
From the technology side of things, we chose to implement our custom site build on the extremely user friendly WordPress CMS. Everything was customized and structured on the backend of the site in a way that empowers the team at The California Endowment to keep the site fresh and up-to-date
The front-end development of the site utilizes the latest HTML/CSS and was coded on a responsive framework to ensure an optimal experience for website visitors on devices of all sizes and shapes. It doesn’t matter if someone is visiting on a tiny mobile phone or a ginormous desktop monitor – the site will remain easy to navigate and engage with at all times.
Throughout the entire project, we followed an Agile/Scrum process, in which we worked with the key stakeholders at The California Endowment to incorporate their feedback into the project while making the elements and pages ready for launch as we progressed. This process allowed our team to test and get effective client feedback at an early stage without any last minute mishaps.
In line with Agile practices, once the MVP version of the site was ready to launch, we rolled that out to the public. As additional pages and sections were ready to release, those were rolled out with precision during ensuing sprints.
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