We are excited to announce the launch of our largest online project to date, the redesigned Mind & Life Institute website (www.mindandlife.org). The launch marks the culmination of an indepth 15-month process that began with a thorough discovery phase led by the Institute's Communications Director, Brendan Tapley.
During this series of small-group sessions with inhouse stakeholders, we listened and learned about the organization's goals and priorities for a revamped site. The group studied and researched dozens of other websites to determine what type of structure, design, and user-interface elements were appropriate to achieve their vision. We then went to work on developing a general visual design direction through a series of static comps that incorporated the ideas that emerged from these sessions.
Once the general design aesthetics were agreed upon, we contracted with local development firm Pixelslam to begin the development phase, and with the user-experience firm Nimble Partners to help us refine the site structure and advise on best-practices of user-experience.
With the help of these partners, we honed the design, and worked with the client to organize and structure the content and secure images. We then developed detailed Photoshop layer comps, and guided the visual design through the development stage.
The new site, which was custom built on the Wordpress platform, represents a major shift for the Institute, not just in its design, but also in its content strategy. Where the previous site presented primarily institutional news with a traditional navigation structure, the new site frontloads original editorial content, indepth research, and essays that explore the Institute's core themes. The primary visual impact has been shifted to highlight this content with a homepage slideshow front-and-center
The more institutional content—which is still important—is never more than a click away, however, thanks to a novel visual dropdown navigation. In addition, a distinctive self-contained blog creates a place for the reader to explore the Institute's main themes in a more timely and personal manner.
With these changes, Mind & Life now has a website that will become a hub of thought-leadership in the field of mindfulness and contemplative science. The site is also now fully aligned with the new visual design direction that we have established for the organization's print materials over the past two years.