“Project Watershed is becoming more of an active organization and wants to become more prominent in the community to attract members, volunteers, funders, and general public interest. As such Project Watershed is rebranding itself. There are three important elements of Project Watershed’s rebranding;
- a new logo designed by Aaron Heppell of Brand & Bridge Creative Services
- a new website which will incorporate the new logo, old and new content
- a social media network to build capacity within the organisation and a rapport with members, volunteers, funders, and the general public.
As part of the new website Project Watershed has three websites which need to be integrated into a main landing page. As part of the social media network a system for sharing and editing documents on-line by staff and board members needs to be established and Project Watershed’s staff and board will need to be taught how to use this system.”
To answer the need for an integrated landing page and clean, simple design that accommodates the viewers ease of instant access to multiple affiliate websites (topics), the Zalika Theme by Voosh Themes was chosen for its frontpage features and consistent clean content. This theme was further developed using the CSS editing function of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to fit the design requirements of the site (including visible ‘real estate” size on a variety of monitors and addition of new code through the theme’s functionality to link to The Mapping Centre’s website).
The sidebar was widgetized to provide, along with basic contact details, access to The Mapping Centre’s website, social media links, blog feeds from News&Events and KeepingItLiving.ca and cw$ account details on each content page, unless otherwise specified.
The main navigation is organised into broad categories, allowing access to more specific features – loosely based on the old site – and follows guidelines directly discussed with the organisation, specifically Get Involved> sub-menus and Resources> sub-menus.
- As was the case with the old site, the main categories in the navigation point to pages that provide overviews of the content contained in their sub-pages.
It is important to note that the Portfolio navigation is dictated by the Zalika theme and provides an archival aspect the the site. Creating new portfolio pages requires proper knowledge of the theme function relating to adding images and thumbnails as these will appear on both the front page and the Portfolio page.
From a design perspective the site aims to be as clean and simple as possible, relying on intuitive navigation and quality of content rather than dynamic elements such as jQuery slideshows or embedded RSS feeds. This tone is carried through into the simple use of the new logo and text as a site header, ensuring the organisation’s basic mission statement resonates powerfully with each visitor.
Social Media network:
- Google account - To ensure we increase our searchability a properly branded account was created with the world’s most popular search engine and linked to the online network of related sites and other links. This account is also used to manage the organisations online calendar, documents, images and video through YouTube.
- YouTube account - To ensure we utilise the world’s 2nd largest search engine and arguably easiest content-creation channel a YouTube account was created and developed to reflect the clean, bold branding.
- Facebook page - To ensure we add the world’s 3rd largest search engine and arguably most popular online social medium to our network a page was established on www.facebook.com. This page is automatically updated with any blog posts made through the website via the Notes application, keeping it current and interesting to visitors.
- Blog - A blog element was added to the website, allowing multiple contributors to post info relevant to the organisation and its goals. This blog forms the heart of the external communications network and should be used as the point of origin for all outgoing public information. Traditional media sources like newspapers and radio can then be directed to these specific posts to gather and confirm information and releases.
Although these elements comprise the basis of the social media system, it is certainly not limited to their use. Staff, volunteers and community members can access information about and links to the organistion through a variety of channels and sources, often through personal accounts e.g. www.LinkedIn.com, www.Vimeo.com, www.Scribd.com and www.Twitter.com. More importantly, they can then share this information and links with their personal networks.
Through ongoing online collaboration, site development and (most importantly) content creation with high standards to ensure quality, this system effectively gains online rankings and functional familiarity with regular visitors.