The Phoenix Community Development Services Website project was a class assignment for Phoenix Community Development Services (previously the South Side Office of Concern), an organization based in Peoria, Illinois devoted combat homelessness in the Peoria and the surrounding area. The goal of the project was to analyze the performance of their old website and make changes based on the requests of the client and the analytics of the old website. Note that this project was done in teams and all work presented is the product of the team unless stated otherwise.

The Process

At the beginning of the project, the first thing we did was find out what PhoenixCDS’s business goals were as well as who was their target audience for their website. The goals for PhoenixCDS were to improve the quality of life for people within their programs and to raise awareness for the issue of homeless in an effort to encourage people to donate their money or time to PhoenixCDS. When asking about their users, they identified two groups they wanted to target with their website. The first one was current or potential residents who are/would take part in the programs they offer, allowing these people to gather more information about PheonixCDS and the various programs that could help them. The second group PhoenixCDS wanted to attract were people the surrounding communities that would be interested in donating money or time, allowing them to find more information about PheonixCDS and different ways they can get involved.

Once we knew what PhoenixCDS’s goals were and who the site was intended for, we took about how their current site was working for their target users as well as starting a competitive analysis on other websites for groups similar to PhoenixCDS. The three major finds we wanted to bring to the client:

  • The use of color – When PhoenixCDS was South Side Office of Concern(SSOC), they used a lot of primary colors on their site, which was very tense and pull attention away from action items on the page. Other sites used many secondary colors or more muted colors to allow primary or intense colors to stand out on the page.
  • The use of nested buttons – We found that many of the pages on the SSOC site were dense with information, making it difficult to get through the page. Many similar organizations use nested buttons within the navigation menu in order to divide information to make it easier for users to find and understand the information they’re looking for.
  • Site layout – We found that the SSOC site’s layout made it difficult to navigate various pages. We found that a minimalist or simplistic layout made the easiest to understand what an organization’s mission is and makes finding information a breeze.

After giving that information to the client and getting the feedback they had, we moved on to sketching pages for the website. We start with sketch only a few pages to see if the designs worked before moving to sketch more pages. After getting feedback from the initial sketches, we moved on to wireframing the pages for the site. You can see the final wireframes created by my team by clicking the link at the top of the page.