We can still help you even if you have special requirements regarding any of the following;
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A good example of a web design project that had special requirements was the First Step website.
First Step are a children’s educational charity based in Hornchurch, Essex. The organisation had a website which had become outdated, difficult to update and unable to integrate with much of the newer online technology.
The trustees also had strong guidelines regarding the visual appearance of the site – tone and appearance had to reflect not just the ethos of the organisation but also convey to parents the feelings of welcoming, belonging and most of all a sense of calm and relief that First Step provides parents and families who fall under its umbrella.
“We are an oasis in the desert for these families” was the phrase that summed up what First Step brought to their community.
We spent a significant amount of time on-site understanding the service that the organisation provides and meeting all the managers, teachers, carers and some children. This gave us a good grasp of the culture and the image that First Step wanted to present through the website.
We came up with a number of designs for the home page, one of which was the ‘Welcoming Hand’ which was then unanimously chosen as a perfect image for the home page.
Content, then design
The next stage was the actual site design. The brief here was that the site had to be “image-led”, First Step did not want lots of text but rather use images to convey their service.
Design should be informed by content, rather than coming up with a design and then attempting to shoe-horn the content into it. We mapped out the different sections that would be required and the content that would go in each section and then started on the design mock-ups.
Design approval and coding
A number of meetings took place with the client, graphic designer and developer and the final page designs were approved and coding the site could begin.
The final site had to support a number of legal and technological requirements such as;
- translation option
- ability for users to increase size of text
- ability to build a mailing list
- ability to easily update the site without technical knowledge
- ability to stream video and embed a social media feed
The site went live without any hitches and there were just a few edits that needed to be made subsequently.
Having the website meant that First Step could move to a digital based outreach to parents and families rather than a traditional print run. The organisation produces a regular newsletter which used to be designed, printed and snail-mailed out to subscribers, but with the ability to collect email addresses and send personalised emails the organisation has gone digital and now makes significant savings on printing and postage costs.
As well as saving money First Step have also been able to connect with their target audience via their news blog and Twitter stream both of which they are able to update themselves, as well as stream their corporate video flawlessly.
We have developed a good relationship with key figures at the organisation and continue to work with them providing hosting and technical support as and when required.
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