Digital-first publishing and a new website at CharityCommsCreating an alternative to PDFs and internal content structures
What needed doing
CharityComms were still mostly relying on traditional print formats for their publications, whether they were being printed or not. They needed a more sustainable, flexible, joined-up, digital-first way of publishing long-form content.
Also, the existing website had a tired look and feel, and was structured around internal ways of thinking and working. It needed a new approach, a new structure and a refresh to its design.
What we did
Starting with the digital publishing challenge, we ran a practical workshop with the CharityComms team to clarify aims and uncover user needs. We digested feedback from the CharityComms membership. And we analysed relevant competitors and comparators doing interesting things with digital publishing.
We combined everything we learned in this discovery phase with creative thinking about possible options. We considered existing and future CharityComms publications, in particular focusing on CharityComms’ innovation report.
We then created wireframes and a prototype for a digital-first innovation report. We decided to use Divi as a page-builder that would integrate easily with their existing CMS setup, provide flexibility in terms of page components, and be easy for the team to use.
We also created a roadmap with practical steps for creating a more integrated content ecosystem, where publications join up seamlessly with CharityComms events, communities and other content.
Subsequently, we took what we’d learned about CharityComms content, the organisation and its users, and worked with the team to develop a theme-first, modern website.
We helped CharityComms run a thorough content audit of what they had. We studied Analytics data to see what content people were visiting. We ran workshops where we mapped the CharityComms offer to users’ mental models – how they think about the sector based on their perspectives and experiences. We helped to create a new user-centred taxonomy of themes. We created a prototype of the new site and tested it with staff and users.
We wireframed and designed the UI and typography for this new version of their site. We then worked with a developer to turn this into a reality, creating a responsive, modern website.
The organisation have done digital-first publishing differently ever since.
And CharityComms still uses the theme-first approach we designed, giving people around the sector a website that’s a pleasure to browse and use.
Moving to a theme-first, integrated approach creates a more intelligently woven CharityComms website. It encourages people who have previously only been to events to explore other activities and content, and vice versa. And it can flex and adapt over time to the evolving priorities of charity communications.
Staff and users have reported back to us how much of an improvement the website is and it’s often cited as an exemplar of a user-first approach to digital content.
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