Chariot was recommended to Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) regarding a new project funded by a grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.gov). The purpose of this Coastal Restoration Toolkit was to be an online, in-depth guide to members of coastal communities on how to fund, manage, and execute their own local restoration project.
We were excited to get started—the project’s success would depend on a strategy that blended user experience (UX), web design, content architecture, and a relevant, intuitive navigation. While the team at RAE was tasked with copywriting, our challenge was to research the target audience and map out a plan that would help users engage with and navigate that content.
During our research into the segments of their target audience, we quickly discovered a common thread: a love for the coast, and a belief in symbiosis with nature even when dealing with issues. Whether getting feedback from coastal homeowners, educators, or municipal authorities, these ideals unified our initial approach.
We crafted a Journey Map that helped identify states of need and user mindsets at certain milestones of a project. We then began building a compelling visual experience that reminded users of their coastal love while intuitively guiding them to the tools they need for their project.
The proof’s in the pudding. Once our live staging website was complete, we had the opportunity to help coordinate and host user testing sessions held across the United States. We gathered real-world feedback from the exact, intended target audience in a variety of geographical locations. Simply put: the results were astounding. After collaborating with RAE on user notes, along with behavioral trends our team noticed during the sessions, we were able to make final improvements to the UX of the website toolkit. Knowledge is power, they say, and this real-world user testing data enabled us to push this project to the next level.
To better connect users to the core purpose of the toolkit, we created a 90-second walk-through video. From our beginning Research and User Journey Map, along with feedback gathered during focus groups, we know that getting started could be the hardest part for users. To address this, we used project footage along with 3D animation to produce a video that guides and empowers users as they get started. See for yourself!
The start of something amazing. As we approach the official launch of the new toolkit, the positive feedback from both NOAA and real-world users has been overwhelmingly great. Users are loving how compelling and engaging the on-screen experience is because of the rich imagery used, while the site still feels and functions very intuitively. The animated infographics and editorial supporting photos help make each page visually digestible while pulling the eye down the page. The directors and internal team are especially excited to monitor the engagement of the project examples section, and so are we!
Our involvement is slated to continue well into the future with RAE and NOAA. Current and continuing collaboration will include monthly monitoring & reporting on web traffic analytics, creating promotional print and digital materials (pre and post-launch), email marketing, social media campaigns, trade show & exhibit materials, and secure web hosting & maintenance. Check back for the live link!
Chariot is wonderful to work with! They were able to take our idea and work their magic to turn it into something beyond what we could have imagined. They stuck to the budget and worked to meet our deadlines.
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