Chemonics

Creating global impact on a flexible WordPress platform.
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hemonics International is a renown international development organization with experience in  more than 150 countries. WDG partnered with GMMB to highlight the breadth and scope of Chemonics’ global efforts with a refreshed aesthetic and restructured information architecture to better correlate content across the site.

Project Mission

Chemonics sought to coalesce a broad body of content into a streamlined information architecture with improved navigation pathways to increase user engagement. They also wanted to incorporate the newly established Chemonics rebrand throughout the site with a fresh, clean design.

What We Did

WDG incorporated custom features, a streamlined navigation structure, and custom integrations into the new site to improve the user experience. We designed an interactive map with content data points which allowed the dense content library to more seamlessly correlate across the site.

Partnering for Success

WDG partnered with GMMB , a  strategic communications agency, to redesign the website for Chemonics and pivot as needed to meet client requirements. GMMB built a new brand platform for Chemonics, then extended that effort with an audience-driven strategy for the website and implementations we then employed throughout the project.

Instituting a Comprehensive Information Architecture

WDG’s strategy team partnered with GMMB on the information architecture phase of the redesign to help solidify various pages within the build. In the reorganized site structure, the navigation was divided into Projects, Regions, and Impact Stories to better relate content across the site. By correlating these separate verticals, the Chemonics narrative became clear for targeted users. Multiple navigation paths ensured that the user journey remained focused on understanding the breadth of Chemonics’ global impact.

Correlating Content through Modern Design

We configured the reinvigorated design to better relate complex content structures for an improved user experience. Our team leveraged the new taxonomy in a clean design, built with aggregated content in mind, to ensure a consistent overall site structure. We employed GMMB’s revamped Chemonics branding guidelines and wireframes to ensure consistent page structures and layouts. For the final design, our team incorporated beautiful visuals to highlight Chemonics’ worldwide impact through a vibrant, positive, and energizing aesthetic. We also leveraged carefully crafted messaging, statistics, and a subtle–yet effective–use of color to increase user engagement.

Engaging with an Interactive Map

For the homepage, our team created a custom interactive map to showcase the vast geographic range of Chemonics’ activities. In order to demonstrate the broad reach of their work on a global scale, the map provides clear information points which drive users further into the site, thereby increasing page views and reducing bounce rate. To create the unique map structure and style, we used fact cards that leveraged the taxonomy for increased value add and functionality. The intuitive map structure was created with the JavaScript mapping library, AM Charts, which allowed the development team to create customized controls and match the site aesthetic.

Customization with WordPress Flexibility

Using the approved wireframes, our development team created a spec doc and pivoted in real-time to ensure client success. The original site was extremely large in scale and built on Microsoft SharePoint. By moving the site to WordPress, we were able to streamline and improve the UX. The previously painful administrative experience became far more user friendly with modular pieces built as flexible layouts. Templates were then built to ensure consistency and brand adhesion across the site. We also incorporated the previously separate blog by coalescing the microsite and main site together, with custom blog templates used for an easier build.

Optimizing for Global Mobile Accessibility

WDG ensured mobile accessibility by optimizing the design for all three breakpoints of desktop, mobile, and tablet. By ensuring the design was mobile responsive, we were able to facilitate flawless performance of the site for those who were mobile-dependent. This capability was central for Chemonics because the website is being used on a global scale in countries with limited technology and data connection points. We worked to ensure the continuance of a world class user experience, regardless of location or device, for all Chemonics viewers.

Utilizing a Non-Standard Approach

Our development team created a backend with nonstandard environment in the CMS. We worked to tie complex data structure relationships together seamlessly. We therefore created templates, archives, and single views that were all comprised of partial files. These allowed our developers to store files in a specific directory while reusing the partial files in different areas or archives. We also had to segment the extremely large, singular data set into different technical and services subsets, tying each to a service or metadata of a particular item, such as a resource.

 

 

Custom Features

We also developed a mega menu that employed advanced custom fields. This allows administrators to build out the menu in a custom fashion and organize columns as desired with an available button to view all options at once. Our development team used Facet WordPress for listing pages, allowing us to integrate dynamic facets into the search functionality. This created an easier search experience for the user and improved the UX.

Developing with the User Experience in Mind

The need for custom slider features presented a significant challenge. Three types of sliders needed to be created: video, image, and content with image sliders. The almost three-dimensional effect of the sliders allowed images to fade out with perspective in a continual rotation, a unique attribute that was facilitated with the help of CodePen. The front end therefore had to be written in a dynamic fashion in order to work with both the content and image requirements of the 3-D effect.

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