Northeast Center for Youth & Families Launches New Website
One of the things I love the most about my job is that I get to work with all kinds of different organizations that are doing great work in the community. The Northeast Center for Youth & Families (NCYF), who launched a new website last month, definitely fits the bill.
When we first started our work together 6 months ago, NCYF had an all-too-common problem: an outdated website that was difficult to update and wasn’t doing a good job at highlighting the work that they do. Even though NCYF had been serving New England kids and their families for over 40 years, many people didn’t know about them and the old site was part of the problem.
Staying focused on goals – one of our first steps was to sit down and talk through the organization's goals. NCYF needed a new site with a modern look that would be simple for them to update. They wanted to increase referrals to their programs and for the site to be a helpful source of information for the families that they served and for other professionals in their field. Like most nonprofits, making donating easy for their supporters was also a high priority.
In any project, it can be a challenge to stay focused on goals, but we didn’t waver. We kept the goals front and center throughout the process of building the site.
A mobile-friendly design & easy-to-update CMS – the end result was a new site with a modern look and feel and a responsive design. We used my custom version of ExpressionEngine, which makes updating content a breeze.
We got real user feedback on the design and layout and fine-tuned everything before the site went live.
We also brought in a professional photographer, moving away from the stock images that had been used previously on the site and which users found stilted.
Content, content, content – we worked a lot on content strategy and incorporated several different kinds of content into the site, including a news section, client success stories and engaging photos and descriptions of NCYF's innovative programs. I conducted social media and content training sessions and my team also provided formal content writing help to support the NCYF staff.
Teamwork – this is always one of the most important aspets of rebuilding a website and this project was no exception. I worked closely with the NCYF staff, we all asked questions, thought things through, asked more questions, built and tweaked things. And ultimately, we came up with a new site that more fully represents who NCYF is as organization and that has the flexibility to grow and change with them in the coming months and years.