I was lucky enough to speak with Ivy Hastings of Fusionbox recently regarding her and her company’s effort to re-envision and redesign the website for Arts Street. Arts Street is a Denver non-profit company that provides children with the opportunity to learn studio and technology-focused arts. Arts Street provides education, mentorship, internship and even employment in the areas of web design, photography, video and writing skills to underserved youth.
According to Ivy, who acted as Fusionbox’s Creative Director on the project and sits on the Board of Directors for Arts Street, Fusionbox recognized the need for a more effective website for Arts Street and offered to redesign the non-profit agency’s website on a pro bono basis. Fusionbox set out to increase awareness of the agency as well as increase recruitment of volunteers, grants and more effectively zero-in on the target audience.
Through collaboration with their client and exhaustive research, Fusionbox was able to define a vision of what the final product would look like. The process involved in attaining that vision required more time than the rest of the project and was also considered the most important. Ivy informed me that her team’s first task was to determine what information would be presented on the site. This process involved determining who would be viewing the site and why. For instance, potential volunteers and students viewing the site would most likely want to know what programs would be available and how to go about taking part in them. On the other hand, potential donors would want to know what Arts Street does and that the agency is stable and organized.
Once the discovery process was complete, Ivy and her team of 5 designers went about wire-framing and story-boarding the necessary content. This process was done without any aesthetic consideration other than deciding the most logical, intuitive and user-friendly layout. With these mock-ups, her team responded to feedback from the client to come up with a final blueprint for the design of the site.
Ivy’s team then combined the blueprint with previous information regarding the client’s web design taste to arrive at a final product. Hardly any back-and-forth with regard to design changes was necessary due to Fusionbox’s thorough understanding of their client’s vision.
The success of the project is evident in arts-street.org’s increased site traffic and search engine ranking. The continued success of Arts Street as an organization is evident in the fact that Fusionbox employs and interns Arts Street alumni in their own company.
The process of researching this project has been an enlightening one. Ivy Hastings happily provided me with her time and expertise so that I may understand how her company was able to build, from the ground up, a professional website for a deserving organization. Thanks to Ivy Hastings, Fusionbox and Arts Street.