Marketing Case Study: YMCA of the Triangle Website
Summary: A 150-year old non-profit with annual revenues of $60 million needed a new website to communicate its new brand with current and prospective members, across 16 locations in a five-county service area totaling more than 2,500 square miles.
Client: YMCA of the Triangle (Raleigh, NC)
Challenge: YMCA of the Triangle had an old website in a difficult-to-update system that made it hard to make any marketing updates.
Right before launching a previous redesign of the YMCA of the Triangle website, the national YMCA implemented new Style Guidelines that required redoing the entire design.
The association wanted to break through stereotypes to show current and prospective members that the group is more than just “Swim & Gym,” but now they had to do so after using most of their budget already.
The updated site needed to organize and present 100+ classes in a way that worked for both seasoned customers and for people who were brand new to the YMCA. And the new site needed to be updated by tech-savvy corporate marketing and IT staff and by representatives distributed throughout 16 locations in five counties.
The site uses the free open-source Drupal content management system (CMS) to provide a streamlined user experience with no ongoing licensing costs.
We helped YMCA create an information architecture (IA) that balanced the needs of regular and new visitors, while also showing how information was connected. The site ultimately has as many as six layers of pages in the Programs & Services section–the site shows full-depth “breadcrumbs” but limits the leftnav to three levels deep, to avoid confusing users.
Result: The client received a website that’s well-organized and easy to update. The location finder makes it easy for new members to find a branch near them.
The marketing department can now customize homepage promos and “call-to-action” boxes in sidebars to promote high-value activities like fundraising.
YMCA staff can focus on fulfilling their organization’s mission without needing to spend all their time managing the site. The new site is now a powerful marketing tool.
My Role as Web Project Manager: I managed the website project’s Phase 2, including information architecture and design, as liaison between the agency team, the third-party design team, and the client’s marketing team.
Beyond day-to-day web project management, I worked with the client and team to find ways to simplify navigation and to find ways to minimize the cost impact of redoing the nearly-launched site to meet the national YMCA’s new style guidelines.
My predecessor at Coalmarch managed Phase 1, and my successor at Coalmarch managed the project through development and launch.
Project URL: http://ymcatriangle.org/