Life Community Enrichment is a site dedicated to a charity who helps people who’ve fallen through the cracks. I designed this site from the ground up, using the square motif in their existing logo. The client requested a clean, inclusive site they could use to solicit donations from sponsors.
Co-copywriter, Deb Bursley
I felt it was necessary to tell the story of the charity in the hero. Because LIFE didn’t have the budget for a video or original imagery, I went through several iterations of telling the story. I started off with a gif story in the hero, but the client felt the waiting for the 30 second frames, wouldn’t be effective. Therefore, I opted for a static hero, with mild micro-animations.
Being a non-profit and not used to any real marketing efforts, the group had trouble articulating what they wanted from the site, only that it meet 501c3 compliance. How would I find a direction without much guidance?
The initial QA didn’t bring about many answers in terms of a design mode, but they seemed to really love their logo. I theorized that if I built upon the squares in their logo, and used the bright colors, they’d really like that.
I offered three initial design comps through high-fidelity XD wireframes. All three had various moods and color themes.
Working with clients who aren’t saavy about design language requires a lot of visualization. It’s difficult to articulate direction without showing them what it would look like.
Rather than showcase three different concepts, I would have been better off spending the time on the concept I knew they’d choose, the square theme.
Different devices, require different experiences. Even if you’re audience is all boomers, it’s still 100% necessary to build a responsive experience, viewable on all devices. Case in point, the director didn’t think it was necessary to build the site on mobile, but every day, she was viewing the site on mobile.
Library of modules
When I learned that their administrator would be doing the updates and had no prior WordPress experience, I built out a library of components for her to drag and drop in place, making training and implementation a snap.
Site Map & Content Strategy
I created a sitemap that showcased a version of the homepage that contained sections that outlined their story in detail, each with calls to action to accompanying pages. After the first draft, I felt their was some confusion around the nomenclature community and individuals and worked with the copywriter to create a page called “what we do,” that incorporated both.
Moving away from the client’s initial thinking
The client provided a PowerPoint of content and a sitemap that was already written. They also provided imagery and nomenclature for the navigation. I convinced them that navigation must be intuitive, and using jargon phrases would confuse their visitors. I also convinced them that they need to use what they were referring to as “Testimonials/Thank You’s and Blessings,” were really more stories that would be better served up in a blog environment, so they could easily update them as well as add board news on occasion, as well as events. I also spruced up the content so that it was more impactful and added stories and stats where they needed to be. You can see from their presentation where they started.
My learnings from this wonderful project.
Being used to working with huge teams and corporations, I learned to slow down and move at the pace of this tiny non-profit.
Helping non-profits is my jam
I’ve worked with a couple of really large non-profits before, but never a small one like this. Not only did I love doing work for them, it made me feel good, too.
It just needs to work
When working with unknowledgable clients, a lot of detailed explanations are necessary. For example, how responsive web design works. And why you can’t use their print cmyk colors and hand-drawn logo font.
After years of working remotely with large teams, it’s easy to get lost in email communication land. If you have an opportunity to stop by and chat with the client, it always works much better.
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