The Wilder Foundation is one of the most prominent charitable foundations in St. Paul MN, helping people across the metro area through service programs, research, leadership development and community building.
Three major goals were driving the push for a full website redesign. The first was centered around content strategy. Wilder wanted online content that moved from a solely informative approach towards a more persuasive approach, encouraging a deeper involvement and stronger relationship with Wilder from their target audience.
A second goal was to replace their current site platform, SharePoint, with a more flexible, responsive and sustainable content management system (CMS).
The third was the ability to fully integrate with the Wilder Research report library, built and housed with InMagic Presto. Presto is a .NET application hosted on a third-party server.
Our team carefully talked through each project requirement with the client, and demonstrated how we could meet all their project goals.
Our preferred CMS, Drupal, excels at integrating with other systems and APIs and could manage the data integration with Presto.
We introduced powerful and flexible tools to allow non-technical editors to manage robust content sections. And our approach to content-driven design and focus on great user experience made our team the perfect fit.
Wilder wanted a site the better reflected its core mission and inspire its audience to get involved. To achieve these goals, we focused on several areas.
- Pages lead with images of the people Wilder serves, putting more of a human face to the cause.
- A short and concise mission statement immediately leads to a call to action -- “find help” or discover “our impact” on the community. We wanted to quickly serve those in need, while telling the story of why Wilder mattered. “Why Wilder” is another callout on the page, featuring relevant facts about the organization and leading to a new page about “Community Impact.”
- Featured blocks of related content used throughout the site invite users to explore, and learn more about the ways Wilder impacts the community. Highlighting research papers, blog posts, news and events also demonstrates impact.
- ”Courageous Stories” is a new section to highlight success stories from the clients Wilder serves, in a relatable, personable way.
- ”How to Help” is a call to action on every page, simplified down to two, easy-to-scan buttons and more imagery of the people Wilder serves.
Wilder is involved in so many different areas of the community, but learning more about their capabilities was buried under a confusing array of site navigation and content-heavy pages.
Our design and content strategy emphasized shorter sections of content, separated into clearly defined sections across each page. We encouraged Wilder to embrace the mobile experience of scrolling through content, and not separate content across so many different web pages. Related content is more easily found as callouts within a section or page of the site.
Our team spent a lot of time working with Wilder on a new and improved site navigation, looking for areas where language could be simplified for the general audience, and content could be grouped into fewer sections.
“What We Offer” was created to simplify and consolidate Wilder’s services in one area, which previous had been scattered under “Programs and Services” and “Community and Leadership”. Within each service area, content was consolidated into a single, consistent layout, making certain any relevant content could be easily located.
One of Wilder’s core services is conducting research and evaluation studies for nonprofits and communities throughout Minnesota.
Wilder manages their research findings through a third-party system called Presto from InMagic. Data includes the client organization, project type, taxonomy terms, report data and accompanying documents.
Our team created an automated, recurring migration program to pull data into the site from Presto, and map content to various blocks, pages, and vocabularies where it is used throughout the website. Each night, the website queries the Presto data and pulls in any new items, or updates to existing data.
Wilder can now feature the content in a new “Research Library,” housing years of research into topics such as homelessness, immigration, and health. We were able to build a sortable online library for over 1,000 research reports, and share Wilder’s valuable research to the greater public.
Content includes report documents, infographics, survey instruments and more, written and produced by multiple authors and research studies.
Wilder had recently conducted a rebranding project, but had yet to implement any of the branding elements in their marketing. The website was the first use of the rebranding.
While the previous used a variety of colors and fonts, the new site closely adheres to the brand standards, in color use and choice of typefaces. A fun new part of the rebrand introduced new textures and secondary colors to Wilder, and our team incorporated these through the redesign.
The new design is clean and straight forward, around the core colors of white, blue and green. But it also introduces splashes of unexpected color, such as a magenta around the “How to Help” section or gold around the “Why Wilder” callout. Strips of colors and textures add life and visual interest to various blocks and boxes throughout the site.
Overall, a larger, more legible font size was used throughout the site, and stronger typography for easier reading. Careful attention was paid to ensuring a proper level of color contrast wherever colors were used, making sure the design was accessible to all users.
Post-launch, we continue to work with the Wilder team to refine and improve the site. Goals and metrics are being tracked in Google Analytics. User feedback has been positive, and Wilder has stated how pleased their are with Drupal as their new CMS. Site editors are very happy with the new tools available for managing content, and research data is being regularly imported from Presto.
The site is now responsive across multiple devices, and accessibility has been greatly improved to WCAG 2.0 standards.