AIR, a long-established research organization asked Tricom to redesign and rebuild its website. Their old site was hard coded, incorporated no Web 2.0 interactive functionality and only allowed one person to update the content. These shortcomings resulted in a site that was underutilized by staff, clients and prospective clients. What made the situation even more pressing was the fact that AIR conducted a robust business in web design and utility for its clients.
AIR’s work is currently structured under five interconnected-content areas, so the development of the new site, and the content management system (the backend support structure), needed to allow for content to display in multiple areas for multiple audiences. After working with AIR’s executive staff and getting input for the various content areas, Tricom, our graphics team and developers presented five design concepts and worked with AIR to narrow down a final concept before build out. The design also had to maintain AIR’s brand – its logo and both of its public names (American Institutes for Research and AIR). You can view the completed site at: www.air.org.
Since the old site was hard coded and static, Tricom first worked with AIR to develop a taxonomy for the types of content that would be added, and for the common subject areas that would encompass all of the content. We then worked on developing and populating a database with as much of the old and new content as possible: reports, videos, fact sheets, corporate documents, etc. Given that the organization has been around since 1946, this was a daunting challenge, but the client and staff were pleased with the result.
While we were designing and building the site, we also built social networks on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that were then connected to the new website. The new site also incorporated a staff blog.
AIR already had Google Analytics set up on its old site, so we migrated that account to the new site to help track usage. Since the project involved building the site from scratch, we consider it a “beta” version and will be working with AIR on step two to develop even more user functionality and additional Web 2.0 elements.