Project Case Study: New website for MDC
Summary: Amidst a corporate rebranding, the social justice client needed a new website to better communicate its mission. I helped them make it happen, producing a website that better shares their research and that shows how their work helps real people.
Client: MDC, Inc. (Durham, NC)
Challenge: MDC — a national social justice “think tank with muddy boots” founded in 1967 — recently rebranded itself to better communicate how its anti-poverty work helps real people. But its website wasn’t keeping up.
The old site’s text-heavy navigation was difficult to use, and it was hard for MDC to add video and other social media features to the old site. Sharing the organization’s publications, including the annual State of the South report, required several steps. And it was difficult for site visitors to figure out how to make a donation, which hurt the non-profit’s fundraising efforts.
Ultimately, adding the new logo to the old website wasn’t going to be enough, and it was time for a change.
Solution: Raleigh branding agency New Kind designed the homepage and an interior page, in conjunction with their existing branding engagement with MDC. My employer (hesketh.com in Raleigh, NC) designed the rest, and built the site’s back-end and front-end.
We used the open source Drupal content management system (CMS) as the core of the new site, which means the site is easy to update and MDC doesn’t have to pay any ongoing licensing fees to use the CMS. The new site includes a publications search engine, social media feeds, and a user-friendly “meganav” navigation menu.
The new site includes an initial fundraising call-to-action, and I expect development results will be even stronger with MDC’s future Blackbaud software integration.
Result: The new site is easy to navigate and easy to update. A week after launch, MDC planned a successful webcast on the new site featuring Georgetown Law policy expert Peter Edelman — potentially an impossible task at the old site. In addition to reducing the MDC Communications team’s workload, the new site should also help the organization boost its fundraising efforts.
My Role as Web Project Manager: I stepped in to manage the project from mid-way through development to launch, into Phase 2 updates after launch. I served as liaison between the client and agency teams, as well as with several of the client’s other service providers.
Project URL: http://www.mdcinc.org/