The original site had repetitive content and placeholder information ‘to be completed.’ that remained incomplete a year after launch. The site also had unclickable links, inattention to SEO and accessibility. The site’s owner wanted to fix these problems and add a blog.
I created an audit that outlined what the site had and what it needed. I also designed individual pages, created a unique overall look and built the site with WordPress.
To do so, I crawled the site by hand, noting what content it contained and how it was organized. We eliminated the “filler” pages and prioritized information as essential or supplemental. We also set a goal: Get visitors from the home page to the signup page with as few distractions as possible.
To inform and persuade visitors, we sprinkled AP style factboxes throughout the content. These quick bites hinted at what students learn during the workshop while adding interest to the site. For example, the workshop calendar featured information on proper date formatting. Likewise, the sponsors explained how to industry standard titles for publications and people.
Armed with content, I designed individual pages on a twelve-column grid. People may see the site’s red background as its main visual trait, but the real design is how each page presents its unique content.
I restricted the template to a universal header and footer. Individual page layouts catered to different kinds and quantities of content.
Execution and upkeep
We rebuilt the site on WordPress so the client to make updates easily and write blog posts as necessary. The old site required students to download, print, fill out and mail a application form. To expedite the process, the new site used web-based forms to email information to the project director.
The new home page is packed with information for the primary target audiences, students and parents, plus a detailed guide to the site itself.