For nearly 40 years READ Saskatoon – a non-profit volunteer literacy organization – have provided free literacy services to individuals, families, workplaces, and the Saskatoon and area community. Their ongoing mission is to continually help support a community that values literacy. To achieve this, they have created a variety of literacy programs which are currently delivered by their professionally trained and volunteer staff.
One way in which READ Saskatoon have continued to promote their mission is online – through the use of their website. However, due their website’s limited capability – most notably the lack of usability for both the user and their staff when it comes to updating the website – it was time for a complete revamp.
The premise for this project was to create a “high impact” website (their words, not ours) for READ Saskatoon. So with this as our mandate we let the team loose on the redesign and development of the website.
Web Design Project
User engagement was one of the essential ingredients to this project. With the previous site being challenging to navigate, frustrating when it came to looking for information, and unappealing to look at, it was essential the design addressed these requirements. However, creating a design that reflected this wasn’t as straight forward as it seems.
READ Saskatoon have a wide-variety of audiences who consist of current and potential fundraisers, adult clients, their staff, board members, and volunteers, and local community literacy organizations and facilitators. Knowing this, our design team was given the task of creating a design that both attracts and resonates with all these crowds.
Now, I know I make it sound like an impossible feat, but it wasn’t. It was a challenge though, but a challenge the designers embraced with both arms and in my opinion exceeded READ Saskatoon’s requirements. I encourage you to take a look if you don’t believe me.
A further requirement of the new READ Saskatoon website was for it to be “mobile friendly.” And what better way of making a website mobile friendly, than by creating it to be responsive? I know, right? Now the website and it’s content will easily adjust to the browser that it is being viewed on – desktops, tablets, smartphones, and even phablets.
Content Management System – CMS
It was decided early on in the project to develop the website using a custom CMS. Why? Well, it was based on the different types of functionality that was required for the new website – namely taking their current offline registration model and moving it online along with the ability to pay for membership online too. Other functionality includes:
- A news and events module – with an online registration and payment for certain events
- A members-only area – that once logged in, members have access to “member-only” content
- A blog and integration of their social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
More information on READ Saskatoon’s literacy programs and how you can become a volunteer, can be found on their new website. And if you’re interested in reading a more in-depth report on this project – including other functionality we created for the READ Saskatoon website – you can do so on our Portfolio page.
What’s your opinion of the READ Saskatoon website? Leave your comments in the box below!