Society of Women Coders is a non-profit organization which provides free coding boot camps for women in under represented countries. When SOWCoders was seeking to re brand its website to better showcase what it does, I volunteered to help them with their website.
Finding Major Pain Points and Setting Goals for a New Web Experience
Screenshot of the old web pages and main discussion points for improvement with SOWCoders
Based on SOWCoders feedback from its old website, the main improvements that they wanted were to inform its users of its current and upcoming projects, have bolder call to actions, and creation of a few new pages. Some key things that I also noted was the need for more consistency of layout, typography, colors, and images throughout the website.
Thus, after discussions and combinations of all feedback, the high level goals for the new website were:
Have a consistent visual language that represents the brand
Make the website responsive, modern, and friendly for all users
Have noticeable and consistent call to actions on every page
I worked in a team of 4 developers and my role was to lead the design direction of the website while also helping out on the front-end side. The greatest constraint in the beginning was that each of the team members were located in different time zones and throughout each week, we had to find appropriate times to schedule progress meetings. However, with time and persistence, we were able to make progress.
Throughout this project, I used Adobe XD for design and HTML/CSS/some React.js framework.
Users and Audience
Digital Trends of NGOs in Tech
SOWCoders has 3 main segments of audience including people who are interested in volunteering, other NGOs who want to partner with SOWCoders, and potential sponsors who want to donate. Before making decisions as to how SOWCoders should look, I searched for other NGOs from a similar industry to get an idea about how they differentiate and brand themselves online.
Screenshot of site examples that I put together for my research of the market
From this research I learned that popular NGOs in tech have bold headlines to inform people of their mission and ongoing projects. They also make use of different media such as video or website interactions which are easy to navigate, as well as bold call to actions.
After getting a better idea of what is currently in the industry, I created 2 mood board directions the goal of which was to provide a possible design direction with a look and feel of the new website. Each mood board consisted of a specific typography, color palette, and layout inspiration.
I find mood boards really helpful because they help to narrow down the visual thought process. Because SOWCoders wanted to have a simple yet at the same time incorporate some of the colors along purple or pink, I looked for those types of color combinations while also experimenting with some reds and yellows.
From the mood boards I then designed 3 different design directions which followed each of the mood boards in design, color, or typography. The reason why I made 3 designs is because I wanted to provide some possible options to choose from for SOWCoders.
In this case the 1st and the 3rd design direction have the same layout yet the colors make them have completely different look and feel which is why they are separated.
The SOWCoders team picked the 3rd design direction because both the colors and the layout represented how they want their brand to be showcased. Based on the chosen design direction, I then proceeded to design the rest of the pages on the website and worked with another developer to get it published live.
Outcomes and Next Steps
The website has been live with this design from 2018 to end of 2021 and has helped to raise awareness about Society of Women Coders around different countries.
Throughout this time, aspiring SOWCoder students, volunteers, and mentors used this website to get involved in the ongoing programs & initiatives.
Currently the website is going through another phase of rebranding as the organization has expanded from 2018 and is now operating in over 20+ countries.