RW Ventures is a highly-regarded leader in inclusive economic growth. When they enlisted us to redesign their website, it was clear that the biggest challenges would be to concisely explain their services and to make their research accessible.
Challenge number one is common for all of our clients whose currency is expertise and strategies rather than physical products. While the RW Ventures team had their humble way of describing what they do, we had to rely on the words of others to wrap our heads around what makes them distinct. We conducted in-depth phone interviews with their clients, partners and former interns to boil down RW Ventures to three important tenets:
- They find value in communities and resources that were previously disregarded.
- Their solutions have lasting impact on Economic Development as a whole.
- While the core team is small, they have access to a large network of thinkers and organizers.
These three guiding principles shaped the way we organized, wrote and styled their website. We chose a combination of data visualization and photography to represent the intangible services they offer. The photos needed to convey the diversity of their target populations and partners. The illustrations needed show both depth of knowledge and a wide perspective that goes beyond the project at hand.
Once the visual and written styles were determined, we looked to the research. We had to organize their large body of work and make it as accessible as possible to their peers in the field of Economic Development.
We treated their projects page like a sortable news feed. There are categories and tags that help you filter down to the right project, subject or data set. Presentations are embedded right in the project page to make referencing or using their direct slides easier than ever. To the right of each project is a list of downloadable files, related links and anything else that a fellow researcher might find useful.
To create such a custom user experience, this site needed a custom backend. We wanted the RW Ventures team to be able to update every bit of content on this site without resorting to a single line of HTML. The method of attack: WordPress custom fields. They now have a WordPress experience that is completely unique and custom to the information they want to display. They are empowered to share their research and knowledge without any outside help or coding.