Creating a modern online presence
A refreshed website for a major charity supporting economic transformation in East Africa.
Gatsby Africa is a charitable organisation that promotes economic growth in East Africa. For the last 30 years, their mission has been to engage governments and businesses, promoting more inclusive and self-sustaining practices. Their work transforms high-potential sectors by facilitating growth. This results in significant gains to jobs, incomes and the wider economy.
The organisation approached us at a time of transformation. They had just undergone a merger with two other major charities. This required an entirely new brand, along with refreshed content and positioning.
Because three different organisations were involved, we had to be sensitive to the fact that there were multiple senior stakeholders, each with their own priorities. We needed to give everyone the opportunity to be involved in the process and ensure that our final product achieved their various objectives. The website also needed to house content written in various formats from the different organisational websites, but streamlined so it was presented in a consistent way on the new platform.
Another key priority was ensuring that the new website would be highly flexible, future proofed and easy to maintain by the internal team so that they didn’t have to rely on a web agency making updates in the future.
What we did
We invited all senior stakeholders to take part in workshops during the planning stages, ensuring everyone had the opportunity to input. For anyone who was unable to make the meetings, we shared a video demo of what we had presented alongside an explanation, so nobody missed out on the decision making process.
Once the top-level structure had been agreed, we shared interactive prototype wireframes to illustrate features and user-flows. This helped to make wireframes and content suggestions easy to understand so we could gather feedback and iterate quickly to reach the best solution.
Our design focused on providing clearer messages in an impactful way, and giving each of the charity’s six sectors a distinct visual identity. To make sure people could find information easily, we planned an intuitive site navigation structure focused around user needs.
Although Gatsby Africa’s work can be complex, their mission had to be communicated in a way that was understandable to a general audience. From the outset, we set out to make it easier for users to quickly understand who Gatsby Africa are, and what they do. For this we utilised the ‘five second rule’, ensuring that within moments of arriving on a landing page, people could understand the value they offer.
Working alongside a creative agency who were developing the new brand, we ensured that the new look and feel would translate to digital design, ensuring any colour combinations and text sizes were accessible. We then developed this brand direction to full UI colour prototypes, including movement and animation as flourishes to make the final experience more enjoyable.
During this period of change within the organisation, content and priorities would be likely to change frequently. It was important that the new website could scale and grow with the charity itself. We created a flexible and intuitive content management system using WordPress.
Once these designs were approved, we set about the build, developing responsive front-end templates and a custom component-based WordPress CMS to ensure maximum flexibility and ease of use. The site was built with emerging markets in mind, and inclusivity was a big factor in our design and build. We ensured the site was developed to W3C’s Web Accessibility guidelines, tested to meet AA-level compliance. By designing ‘mobile first’, we could ensure a great experience for users with small screens and unreliable internet connections.
It was an absolute pleasure working with Pixel Fridge. They understood the brief, rightfully challenged us in places where we were not thinking big enough, and kept us on track to ensure timely delivery. Most importantly they helped translate our vision into something tangible and exciting.
Lutendo Wigman, Communications Director