Variations on a theme: How we approached a website redesign for a nonprofit

In the following video, designer Ugnė Jurgaitytė discusses Leff’s pro-bono engagement with the nonprofit Food Animal Concerns Trust and how she approached redesigning its website with a focus on storytelling and user engagement.

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Below is an edited transcript of the video.

FACT stands for Food Animal Concerns Trust, and they’re a nonprofit organization that specializes in educating consumers and farmers on better ways to treat food-bound animals such as chickens and cows.

On their old site, I noticed that each page, including the homepage itself, was designed in the exact same format. So there were opportunities not only to develop a visual refresh but also to provide better areas for storytelling and user engagement. I suggested building a new site in the updated Squarespace version that would allow the client to have as much time to learn it and to adapt to it as possible.

When you have a website like FACT’s that has 35 important navigation pages, you really have to look through everything to make sure that the storytelling at the very front of the stage encompasses as much of that as possible.

I really focused my efforts on developing a system that allowed for variations on a theme. The homepage is a separate scrolling experience from the About page or the Resources page for farmers or the Giving page, but all felt familiar for the user to navigate.

If the original page was text-heavy, like the Mentorship page, I let it breathe and didn’t flood it with too much color or imagery. If the page was shorter, I’d introduce supplementary elements to help it feel a little bit more substantial.

The purpose of a Giving page is to have a donor find exactly the way they want to donate in the right amount of time. For nonprofits, that’s a very important element.

Ultimately, my goal with this new website—and my philosophy in general—was to listen to the content and to understand the client’s needs and personality. It’s my job to remain flexible and to create visual solutions that speak best to the client and their intended audience. Balancing the client’s goals, the audience’s expectations, and the visual integrity last was the key.

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