Start Early, Celebrating a New Name with a New Website
Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) is a champion for early learning and care from a child’s very first moments. Their aim is to give every child the opportunity to thrive in school and life.
With a new name, logo, and a multitude of audiences to consider, Start Early needed to partner with an agency that could reorganize their information architecture, craft a content strategy, and design and develop a beautiful and user-friendly mobile responsive website. So, they came to Briteweb, and together, we did just that.
Content Strategy & Information Architecture
Start Early’s previous website had gone through some wear and tear over the years. It had a messy sitemap, broken links, and a very corporate design that didn’t reflect who they were or their mission. It was time for a complete website redesign, starting with a blank slate.
First and foremost, the purpose of a website is to help the user find what they are looking for. Start Early delivers early learning programs but is also a hub of resources for early education professionals, families, legislators, and researchers. Their website at the time had a malfunctioning search function, and it was difficult for users to navigate through the heaps of content on the website, some of which may have not even been relevant to them.
Building a digital experience begins with understanding who will be using the website. We began our work with a comprehensive discovery phase, where we dove into Start Early’s purpose and learned about each of their audiences — their motivations and their needs.
From there, we performed a content audit, where we identified, segmented, and organized each piece of content, to better understand:
- It’s purpose
- Who it is intended for
- If it has a place on the new website
- Whether it needed an update.
The result was a dynamic resource library, featuring a variety of post types and expertly designed frontend and backend systems. Designing the content system demanded a significant amount of time and effort, and it was important that it was built with the future in mind, so that the website could grow with the organization.
Before & After
Design & Integrations
As the organization began to grow, they also outgrew their website. Instead of starting over when they wanted a new feature or functionality, Start Early added an integration. This meant that when it came time for their website overhaul, there were more than six integrations to consider.
The organization also wanted their website to be designed in a more playful and accessible way. Their new name and logo reflected their new direction, but their website was not inviting. It was cold, corporate, bursting at the seams with paragraphs of text, and lacked playful photography.
Through time, the needs of an organization change. Technology evolves and trends change, so we developed Start Early’s new website with flexibility in mind. Our team made recommendations of solutions that would best fit their needs at the moment but made sure to build in the ability for their team to switch integrations as and when they needed to.
We also wanted to ensure Start Early’s team had an easy way to update their events within the CMS, so we custom built them an events module to do just that.
When the project began, Start Early already had a new logo and a new name, but to design a website that would truly communicate their brand values, they needed a visual identity.
We worked with their team to establish a color palette, typography, photography guidelines, and logo applications so that the website could have brand consistency.
Applying that visual identity to the website, our team thoughtfully designed subtle animations to convey the playfulness of their brand while maintaining a tone of industry authority and expertise.
Working Together As One Team
The coronavirus pandemic has affected organizations of all sizes in many different ways, and Start Early was no exception. When we kicked off the project, Briteweb was working with Start Early’s full marketing team.
Midway through the project, the pandemic presented new resourcing challenges and we were left with half a team. Determined to move forward, Briteweb pulled in some extra hands to manage the workload and bring us to launch.
The result was a client that was so happy with the end product that they continued working with us after the website launch to transform the visual identity built for the website into templates for a variety of dynamic collateral.