Website redesign from research to development
Gritcube is a non-profit that supports entrepreneurs in Southern Africa to launch and grow startups. Operating for a couple years now, they wanted to refresh their online presence to provide an experience that was more aligned with their values. I worked with the Marketing Coordinator and President to redevelop their website’s usability and branding.
Understanding the problem space
The project kicked off with discussions around why Gritcube wanted the redesign. We narrowed in on two primary reasons.
- Text-heavy layout → difficult to understand Gritcube
- Dull look and feel → lack of differentiation
Researched pain points
I remotely interviewed three individuals based on their diverse backgrounds and interest in social good. These interviews reassured the aforementioned issues were warranted, and they revealed specific frustrations.
- Intimidating team descriptions on the About page
- Unclear application process for startups and consultants
Mindfully removing content
We restructured the layouts after defining the goal of each page. Having established goals gave us a baseline on what to change. The interviews also laid a foundation for recognizing which sections were particularly valuable or dispensable.
Exposing the inner brand
Adjusting the look and feel came down to increase contrast. The typeface was adjusted to embrace a bold, vibrant tone, and the color palette was broadened to bring out more of Gritcube’s personality.
Showcasing the founders
Visitors should be encouraged to read the team descriptions rather than be intimidated, so the content was limited to the founders. Each paragraph was also reduced to one sentence with the structure “[background], [passion].”
Encouraging visitors to get involved
The application process was simplified by adding a call to action above the fold and at the bottom of the Startups and Consultants pages. Forms were also added to the bottom of the Home and About page so that visitors could easily get in touch with Gritcube no matter the page.
Implementing the redesign
Once we finished the designs, I developed a Weebly theme. Gritcube originally used Squarespace. However, Weebly gave more control over custom code, and they were cheaper for Gritcube’s needs.
We would’ve benefitted by exploring iterative changes in conjunction with marketing efforts. Doing so would’ve painted a clearer picture of where the website was failing to meet the goals of a marketing campaign. These points of failure would’ve helped guide our design decisions. Another missed opportunity was using services, such as UserTesting, which provide free and discounted services for qualifying charitable organizations.