Problem: A family who lost a child to SIDs needs to build awareness and promote an annual fundraising event.
Hypothesis: If we create an experience which tells the story of the family and their lost loved one, it will bring awareness to the disease with guidance on how others can help and allow users to participate in the annual fundraising event.
Solution: Build an responsive website which caters to many different audiences and adapts to change with the every year’s event.
We are hoping to get the very best, most beautiful site for our son, but not at the highest cost. This tournament is something that will always reflect the enormous influence that Bennett has had on so many – it has to be perfect.
The “client” (who I know consider good friends), the Endres family, had met others affected by SIDs and learned how to best facilitate and successfully run an annual event. In this case, that event was a golf tournament. They encouraged me to look at SwingForSophia.com for inspiration. This event was held at the same golf course and had featured a story of loss, similar to the Endres’.
As conversations continued with the client, addition technical and experience requirements came to be:
- The experience needed to reflect Bennett’s personality in order to effectively tell his story.
- The experience needed to detail the various organizations which will benefit from the proceeds of the event.
- The experience needed to offer individuals and business the opportunity to sponsor elements and/or the event as a whole.
- The experience needed to allow participants to register for the event in various ways.
- The experience needed to be flexible so it could handle ongoing maintenance and change with each year’s event.
With this being a nonprofit, pro-bono project, I knew I should optimize the level of effort and costs involved with the delivery of the end experience. For that reason, I repurposed a free HTML theme and began implementing their information. Consistent email or phone check-ins occurred to exchange new information or roadblocks and provide updates on the state of the project. Information shared included who Bennett was and details of his story; event date, time and location details; 3rd party vendors and partners and many others.
In the early stages of wireframes and design, the first translation of their wants and needs was shared in the form of a flat file mockup. It was incredibly important to me that this site made a personal connection with the client. Upon approval, additional details were added and modified as information was provided.
This definitely “strikes a chord” with us- it’s fantastic! I LOVE the colors and the layout so much.
Going forward, I moved from concept design to actual HTML development so a staging experience could be shared with Jason and Paige. This allowed them to experience the site as it developed and it was functional. Over the span of the next 2 months, extensively documented notes were shared to refine and prepare the site for launch.
10 months prior to the day of the golf outing, the site was launched and shared with friends and family. The experience was well received.
I cannot be more excited about the website. The few people I’ve shared it with agree that it’s the most beautiful site they’ve ever seen. We are thrilled and it’s such a beautiful tribute to Bennett.
After launching, it was important to monitor success by tracking analytics and incorporating user feedback. And in order to ensure success of the event, it meant consistently updating with new sponsors and event details as they were flushed out.
The most important piece of user feedback was the responsiveness of the website. Although it was top of mind when initially launched, time did not allow for a mobile-friendly experience. However, after the 4th year of the event, we completely rebuilt and launched a mobile-friendly experience. You can view the experience by visiting GolfingForBennett.com.
The iteration process has continued for many years and the event and awareness has been incredibly impactful.