Redesigning & Building Rigpa’s Website

CHALLENGE

• Flagship website was slow, bloated and difficult to navigate
• The design was stale
• It was not mobile friendly

OBJECTIVE

• Present a clear, positive image of the organization
• Increase user participation
• Increase website SEO visibility

SOLUTION

Research, design & implement a new website based on both company objective and user needs.

Research

Company Objectives

I began by meeting with the various teams to assess their objectives with the new website. I brought together key constituents within the company to collectively determine the stated objective for this project.

There was a clear organizational imperative to upgrade our website design and in the process consider how best to present the organization and support its constituents, both current and potential. We began by meeting with all of the department heads and assessing their objectives and how they tie into the company web presence.

I asked each of the stakeholders ‘why are we redesigning?’ This process led to establishing both the immediate and long-term goals for the site redesign as well as investigating ways these goals could be assessed. 
This led to a summary of our Project Objectives:

  • Present a clear, positive image of the organization; 
  • Increase Participation; 
  • Increase website visibility

User Needs

Through a combination of researching data analytics from our current site and interviewing constituents and users, I was able to get a better picture of why people used the site, what they wanted to find there, and what they found frustrating about the experience.

User Needs included:

  • Learn about upcoming events/courses, 
  • register for events/courses, 
  • learn about meditation, 
  • find a teacher, 
  • find a spiritual community, 
  • find how to get question answered in the organization

Establishing the Target

We defined our target audience based on our research of website users based on the analytics data combined with interviews of current constituents and website users. Based on this information, we developed a set of personas to represent the different types of users we discovered.

After analyzing the research data and sharing the results with the stakeholders in the company, it was decided that, while we want to consider how to attract new people who don’t yet know us, we want to focus primarily on better serving long-term clients, making it easier for them to get what they want and find what they are looking for.

Making it clear and easy for existing users to access the services they are looking for was a priority.

Design

The old website was bloated, with an unattractive design, too much unnecessary text, difficult navigation, and an unclear structure.

We wanted a more modern look, responsive, with concise text, clear navigation, and easy and obvious access to the most frequently used aspects of the site. To accomplish this, I began a collecting and curating a content inventory, which informed the creation of a site outline, inventory and site maps. 

We wanted a more modern look, responsive, with concise text, clear navigation, and easy and obvious access to the most frequently used aspects of the site. To accomplish this, I began a collecting and curating a content inventory, which informed the creation of a site outline, inventory and site maps. 

With a sense of the atmosphere we wanted to create, as well as the information we needed to share and services we provide, I began making wireframes to show how the site could fit together. Once we were happy with the site map, wireframes and flow of the site, I made mockups of some of the main pages.

Implementation

Once the mockups were approved, I started the process of building the site on wordpress. From hosting and building the site, to choosing and customizing the theme and plugins, I built what I had designed into a fully functioning website.

RESULTS

Our SEO ranking increased, as did our site’s traffic and as a result, our event participation also increased. Through checking the analytics, and event registration, we were able to confirm that the objectives of increasing participation and increasing visibility were met.

Unfortunately, the objective of ‘presenting a clear, positive image of the organization’ was subjective and difficult to quantify. I feel by improving the look, feel and language of the site we were able to do this, but we weren’t able to measure it objectively. If I were to do this over I would adjust that goal into something that could be more easily measured in order to determine whether or not it was met.