Ten years of digital agency life in the books. It’s going to be near impossible for this post not to be full of cliches. That first decade went by in the blink of an eye. When FirstTracks first opened its doors back in October 2009 we knew we... Keep Reading: Celebrating FirstTracks Marketing Agency’s 10th Anniversary!
Massachusetts Community Action Agency
The Action Inc. mission is to create opportunities that promote a thriving Cape Ann for all. Action Inc. is a non-profit organization and Community Action Agency that was founded in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Action Inc. is a member of the Community Action Partnership, a nationwide network of more than 1,000 similar agencies that are dedicated to helping people in need and eliminating poverty in the United States. The organization works with partners at local, state, and national levels to provide quality services that change lives and help people move up the ladder of economic opportunity.
The Challenge: Complete Design Overhaul
The previous Action Inc. website was handled more as an afterthought. The system was extremely hard to work with and manage. If you didn’t know how to write actual HTML code you couldn’t update the content of the pages. Action Inc. needed a complete new site to meet the needs of the organization and the community it serves. The FirstTracks team took great care in getting to know the organization, the community, and the key players who would be involved with supporting the website post launch. This resulted in some key functionality additions to the platform to make it easier for Action Inc. in the day-to-day use of the site. New sections such as client stories, integrated news, events calendar management, better services organization, and a much more prominent donation page were incorporated within the design. The improved functionality combined with new photography produced for the site make for a very stunning and compelling presentation.
Designing Mobile First
The previous Action Inc. website was not mobile friendly. Our approach with any new website design is to plan your experience mobile first. The new Action Inc. website is very easy to use on any handheld device and looks fantastic. The numbers also prove this out: Since the launch of the site, usage has increased by 160% on mobile devices and 400% on tablets.
Connecting with the Community
A big focus of the redesign effort was a complete content overhaul of the site. This meant taking the time to interview key staff and clients of Action Inc. to gain insight and expertise as to how all service offerings fit together. We then wrote new more direct, descriptive, and easy to navigate content. Another big addition was a series of client stories that directly relate back to those service offerings. These client stories provide a real world example of how Action Inc.’s services are actually impacting the lives of individuals in the community. The stories also creates a very powerful and logical pairing throughout the site.
Making It Easy to Work With
The Action Inc. team had no control of its former website. Even the smallest change was impossible. We needed to give the Action team the power to work with the website easily. We spent a lot of time with the team up-front determining what the most frequently used parts of the site would be (Homepage, Events, Client Stories, News, etc). Then we made sure that what we created set them up for success. This was an exciting leap for everyone. The comment below pretty much says it all:
“The new website is Awesome, thank you! We can’t believe how easy the site is to edit and update! Thanks so much!!” — Joe McEvoy Director of Marketing and Planning
Bold Photography Makes the Design
We were very excited to help Action Inc. update its photography. Action’s previous website contained limited images. The new site features a large photo to kick off each section and other images to highlight various services. New imaging is a key component we always evaluate with our clients ahead of time because it takes extra effort to pull off a successful photo shoot. Working with Action on new photography was very rewarding. Not only does the site looks absolutely stunning, but the new photos create a real down-to-earth connection that really represents the organization and the community it serves much more accurately than any amount of stock photography could.
Improvements since site launch
432%INCREASE in Pageviews
109%INCREASE in Pages per Session
143%INCREASE in Average Session Duration