After years of having an outdated website with a less than stellar user experience, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and Minnesota Turkey Research Research Promotion Council decided they needed a complete overhaul. They wanted a modern and responsive website with a lot of functionality for their many audiences.
We used a custom process I have created to ensure we were all on the same page with strategy, sitemap, design, content, navigation and all the functionality needed to make the site a complete success. It is critical with such a large site containing a wide array of functionality that there is clear collaboration and testing to create a great user experience.
This new site now is a robust tool for the organization to communicate with their members and the public. The board members of the both organizations, leadership, and staff were very happy with the end results.
The goal of this project was to create a better user experience for both members of the organization and the public. On their old site, it was very difficult to provide such a vast amount of information important to many people in a consistent and easy to find way. Here is a list of the scope of the project.
- 60+ pages covering complex topics and information
- A members-only part of the site with private information for two distinct membership types
- Public Classifieds pages where users can see job postings and items for sale that were posted through a form that only members could access and fill out.
- Ability to add dynamic content for events, recipes, news posts, research projects, and disease alerts.
Effective Process Is Vital
To be able to achieve a great result with such a complex site requires a tested process and clear communication. I have a MBA, experience in project management, and have built elaborate processes for large corporations. I have created a comprehensive but easy to follow process for my clients and me to collaborate to create websites that effectively communicate their message.
I always meet with my clients in brand discovery meetings where we discuss their business or organization along with their customers. It is critical for me to understand both so I can consult and provide the best options. We virtually attended these meetings through Google Meet so it was easy and convenient for everyone to attend.
With over 60 pages, it was crucial to create a sitemap or list of all the pages we thought we needed, but then identify what content would live on each page. Going through these exercises shaped our understanding of what content was important and where it best fit on the site. Using online tools in the cloud we could easily collaborate and document what was needed.
We met to talk through our roadmap and with my background in strategy, website design, and SEO, I consulted with the team and with an outside perspective challenged assumptions and provided new ideas. This collaboration worked out great where we ended up with a very clear roadmap to create a great user experience. Now that we had a roadmap of what pages were needed and what content was on the pages, I could start building wireframes.
I first started with wireframes of what the layout of the pages will look like. The wireframes are focused on the content architecture of each page so we can clearly see the layout of the content. I met with the team and after explaining the logic of the flow of the pages and making some edits the wireframes and design was approved.
Once we have the wireframes and design approved, next comes development of the site. I use Webflow because it gives me such vast control of the design and layout that I can create exactly what the client needs for their site to be successful. Webflow creates clean code, which means it is faster than most WordPress sites and greatly mitigates risk of hacker attacks. The end result was a great looking site.
After the site was built, I used screen recording software to create easy to follow training videos to show the staff how to update their new site. After watching the videos they were able to update the content to get it ready for launch.
While the content on the site was being edited I continued to work on advanced features such as membership functionality where only members could view certain pages. In addition, I created multiple levels of membership so higher level members could see more content than lower level members.
Launching The Site
Once the site was complete the launch was easy. First, I used tools to scan the site to ensure it was good to go for SEO purposes. Second, I worked with the staff to repoint the domain to their new site and boom, it was launched.
The result was a great new site that met all their requirements. The process ensured we were strategic in our approach and there were no surprises along the way. The process also made it a great experience for the leadership and staff. I always recognize they still have jobs to do in addition to working with me on this project so I created a process that is easy for them to follow and ensure their needs are met. I presented the site to their leadership and board members and they love it. This was a huge success for their organization and members and I am happy to have been able to help them achieve their goals.
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association