Design Council

Not for profit, Design, UX, Brand development, CMS Development

Creating an environment for design to thrive

Design Council had found themselves with an outdated website, in need of both a re-architecture and a design refresh. Their website suffered from a structure and navigation that was unintuitive; many of their important resources, programs and initiatives were hard to find. They also felt they were not getting value from their incumbent hosting platform and wanted to look at what other alternatives there could be.

Design Council also had a new purpose and mission: Design for Planet, and their objective for the new website was to put this mission front and center.



Evolving the Design Council brand

Whilst not wanting to embark on a full re-brand, Design Council asked us to help them refresh their current brand, and show them some options on how their current brand could be evolved. Updated designs could be then fed back into their brand guidelines until the organisation felt ready to undergo a full rebrand.

With this in mind we took an agile approach to the redesign. We facilitated a series of workshops where we dug into their values, personality and purpose, whilst also interrogating their design sensibilities with a view to finding out what appropriate directions the refreshed design could take.

Starting out with a broad stroke, we produced a series of mood boards that pushed their brand in different tangents, exploring directions that gently nudged their brand forwards, to much more radical approaches with a view to test their appetite for a more fundamental change.

Once a final creative direction had been agreed upon, we took an iterative approach to rolling out this new direction in the form of high fidelity mockups of key website pages, so that the Design Council could see how this direction could be implemented onto their new website.


Creating an effective architecture

Our approach to re-architecting the website started with a thorough understanding of the Design Council audience needs, and the messages and positioning the Design Council wished to place in front of their website visitors. Part of our discovery process was to undertake workshops dedicated to understanding the audience's triggers, motivations, and objectives. We coupled this work with qualitative research, undertaking qualitative semi-structured interviews with key website visitors, with the aim of ratifying our workshop findings and feeding in additional information back into our design and development process.

Our solution streamlines user journeys, making the important content the Design Council produces more discoverable and easier to find. Additional routing and calls to action were used strategically throughout the website to facilitate the users journey and cross promoting their resources. Emphasis was made on promoting the new Design for Planet strategy, and the events and content around this new direction. 

The ability to self serve

Another requirement the Design Council had was to increase their ability to self serve. Their incumbent website was limited in its ability for the Design council to make changes themselves, and even seemingly minor changes were time consuming and came with a cost.

Our CMS solution is the enterprise class CMS TYPO3, which gives the Design Council vastly improved ability to self-serve - new sections, pages, changes to navigation and site structure - all can be done by themselves without the involvement of a development agency.



The Result

We delivered the Design Council an updated design, gently evolving their brand, that although does not tread too far away from their pre-existing identity, does deliver a more modern and appropriate aesthetic. We completely reimagined their website structure, and provided a flexible content management system allowing them to take control over their content. 

View the Design Council website