When starting a new project, it’s not uncommon for it to grow, evolve and redirect based on new information gained in the discovery and development processes. Foremost in any project we undertake is the client’s satisfaction and long-term success. Our recent website redevelopment efforts for the Bellevue Public Schools (BPS) Foundation are an example of this process in action.
What started out as changes to an existing website turned into a full website redesign for the foundation. During initial conversations, Smith Kroeger learned of the foundation team members’ frustrations with the outdated design and responsiveness issues, as well as their struggles making minor updates. Due to the way the existing website was built, we discovered that implementing the needed changes would be difficult and time-consuming. It also wouldn’t solve the problem of not being able to make changes internally. It was clear to both teams that there was an opportunity to make a big impact with a newly designed website and help the foundation reach short- and long-term business goals.
Excited about the new website, SK and the foundation quickly got to work on outlining all of the existing problems with the current site and identifying goals for the new site. Helping to make the process effortless, our teams were in sync about the proposed new navigation, site structure, content and functionality. After assigning tasks and scheduling regular status meetings, we hit the ground running.
Jennifer Peters, manager of Alumni Relations and Development for the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation, reflects on the experience.
“Working with Angela and the team at Smith Kroeger on our website relaunch project was the perfect partnership and a great collaboration. With very little direction, Angela was able to expertly bring to life my vision for the new site. She communicated her progress and roadblocks in real time allowing us to fly through this project and get it finished quickly. Best of all, Angela’s real-world knowledge of best practices and user experience enabled her to anticipate my needs for the site and present winning design and functionality before I even knew what to ask for – I was blown away time and time again.”
Although it was important that the outdated design and responsive issues be fixed, it was equally important that the BPS Foundation team had the ability to maintain and update the new website internally. Having to depend on an agency or an independent website developer was not an option. In recent years this has become a common request of our clients, so Smith Kroeger was well-prepared. The website development design platforms and toolsets we’ve carefully vetted and chosen to use allow us to quickly craft beautiful custom websites that are dynamic, responsive and user-friendly (a feature that our clients love!).
“I couldn’t be happier to have switched to a new design platform for our redesigned website on Angela’s recommendation,” said Peters. “I’ve been managing websites for the last 15 years and despite my best efforts have never mastered basic HTML, which is a real hindrance for site management. The new interface takes all the guesswork out and allows me to comfortably make day-to-day updates to our site without fear of ‘breaking’ something and having to rely on a professional web developer for basic updates. This interface is intuitive, robust and actually makes updating our site kinda fun.”
The new BPS Foundation website expanded into over 20 pages with great new content about the foundation, initiatives, grants, the Kids’ Time program, alumni, news and events. It also makes it easy for visitors to make donations, access the parent portal and join the alumni association. The new design – which looks great on mobile and tablet – is fresh and fun while accurately reflecting the BPS Foundation’s brand.
Overall, this project is a reflection of Smith Kroeger’s values and processes. Understanding the client’s goals and working with them to fill in the steps needed to get there are first priority. With any project, we strive to overdeliver with regard to budget, timeline and output that satisfies the client’s needs. Long-term success is built on short and intermediate tasks achieved through multidirectional partnerships.
Check out the new BPS Foundation website at bps-foundation.org.