Communications Concept Redesign: The ZDHC Foundation


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Digital Strategist & Project Lead for the ZDHC Foundation’s Communications Concept Redesign. 

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like, but how it works.” – Steve Jobs. 

Along with the launch of a new brand identity, in 2016 I worked alongside design agency Strangelove to deliver a new website for The ZDHC Foundation. This was a key element as part of a broader redesign of the Foundation’s communications concept.

ZDHC Website
Example: The old homepage (left) and the new homepage (right). In the new version, there is a clear mission statement, the Programme’s features are not obscured, and there is a direct call to action. 

Challenge: The website stored a deep archive of content which has difficult to navigate and the language and timeline of achievements unclear. In all, it was a complicated and off-putting design which, rather than guiding audiences towards the information they were looking for, succeeded in deterring them.

Solution: Together, we created a communications concept which focussed on highlighting key achievements, created a guideline and framework for using clear, simple language, and delivered a website design which ensured all information was presented in a logical way.

To achieve this, we mapped key audiences, their objectives and needs, and tested and refined the user journey for each audience across a range of channels. We created a communications guideline, to preserve and solidify the ZDHC brand, and made strategic decisions about which channels to keep, which to nurture, and which to discard entirely.

For the ZDHC website, the Foundation’s main communications tool, we introduced a strong storytelling element to highlight news, the timeline of ZDHC’s achievements, and to provide an opportunity for the Foundation to tell its own story.

Close up new website
A closeup of the new website homepage with specifically designed icons for each Programme area. These elements are presented consistently throughout the site with the result of building a strong, coherent brand identity. 
ZDHC News Section
The news section of the former website (left) is contrasted with news section of the new website (right). There is an editorial “look” to the new website, and images, along with bold headlines, are featured in a way to encourage the reader to explore more content. 

Results:  While design alone did not enable us to reach our goals, making strategic decisions about which content to feature, and which to discard, ensured the website became a valuable resource as part of a broader communications strategy.

The website launched in August 2016, and by December 2016 we had achieved an increase in 8,437 individual sessions and 5,877 individual users.

The implementation of the website was complimented by a targeted communications strategy implemented across a range of channels, with the goal to engage a broad audience in the work of the Foundation.

Across other channels, we achieved an increase of 571 mailing list subscribers, 1011 followers on LinkedIn, 272 subscribers on Twitter and 110 media mentions across targeted industry publications such as Just Style, Eco Textile News, Fibre 2 Fashion and Chemical Watch.

media-mentions

To see a preview of the Brand Identity we created, see here.