Easter Seals

Visit the new Easter Seals website at www.easterseals.com.

Challenge:
  • For nearly 100 years, Easter Seals has provided a diverse portfolio of programs and services through a federated network of affiliates and partnered service providers. With a broad mission to serve a wide range of clients living with autism and other disabilities, Easter Seals' network of national and affiliate websites lacked a clear visual representation of the organization and failed to provide clear, actionable user pathways.
  • The national and affiliate websites were undoubtedly outdated. The look and feel, architecture and navigation, technology, and the overwhelming +2,000 pages of Pagebuilder content (belonging solely to the National website) made a strong case for a website redesign. This website redesign project was an opportunity to upgrade Easter Seals online technology, increase brand awareness and showcase the passion and spirit of the organization in a new, compelling light.
  • With Easter Seals' commitment to serving people with disabilities it was imperative that the new website be designed with best in class accessibility functionality. Rather than limiting our interpretation of "accessibility" to traditional assistive technologies, we challenged ourselves to use responsive methodologies for design and development. A responsive website would allow the site to be visually compelling on smartphones, tablets, desktops - "accessible" to all, regardless of physical or technical impairments or limitations.
Approach:
  • From the start, Charity Dynamics understood that this project was about more than simply bringing Easter Seals' national and affiliate websites up to date. This redesign involved a holistic data analysis and configuration assessment, results of which would drive strategic goal setting, new technology investment and organizational change management.
  • A thorough review of Easter Seals Google Analytics, Convio weblogs and site-scrape results was just the beginning. Our Strategic Design team deployed user surveys and internal and external stakeholder interviews to better understand the perspectives of Easter Seals leadership, web administrators, clients, donors, advocates, and corporate partners. The qualitative and quantitative results informed our development of target audiences, user persons and action pathways.
  • Grounded in best practices for responsive design/development for CMS, we designed wireframes and mockups for the homepage and internal pages with appropriate layouts for smartphone, template and desktop screen displays.
  • As identified in the development of user personas, it was critical that we provide a strong strategy and seamless functionality for navigating from the national site to one's local affiliate site. Using Google's geo-location technology and clear user action paths, we developed a unique, simple way for a user to "Get Local".
Outcome:
  • Easter Seals' National Headquarters office currently operates a new, responsive website on Convio CMS. A well-organized architectural framework has been put in place along with clear, streamlined site navigation providing a more user-friendly and engaging experience for visitors.
  • Moving toward the bold use of professional photography was a decision the organization didn't take lightly. With a fresh, modern look and feel the new website allows vivid, compelling photography to help convey the Easter Seals mission and their range of programs and services. It was imperative that photos be easy to change and refresh moving forward. Easter Seals was pleased to learn that making these types of changes would be much simpler for administrators to do now that they had CMS.
  • From the start, Easter Seals knew they needed to move away from their text-heavy page layout. Their new page framework not only showcases important information but also provides a visually engaging experience that drives user actions; social sharing, clickthroughs, story submission, and return visits.