Non-profit organisation Kunst & Cultuur (Arts & Culture), is expert of all things art and culture within the areas of Groningen, Drenthe and sometimes outside of those. Its forty employees work as advisors, mediators, project managers and project executives in the field of cultural education, participation, innovation and policies. This year sees the 25th anniversary of Kunst & Cultuur, and to celebrate their successes over the past 25 years, they were looking for a partner to help them develop a new corporate identity and website.
After an intensive pitching process, we were chosen as partner. Time to hit the ground running and get going! Because how do you make sure a new corporate identity matches up with the organisation’s actual identity? How do you transform an immensely deep and complicated website into a user friendly site with a clear path for every visitor? And perhaps just as important, how do you get everyone with a company on board with your plans?
Our project manager and designer Ellen tells us more: “Kunst & Culture is an organisation which organises an incredibly wide array of activities for many different target markets. For example, their talent development activities are aimed at budding musicians, the elderly, visual artists and children. Within the education system there’s communication with teachers at primary schools, but also head teachers of secondary schools and local politicians. That’s a complex mixture of audiences, who all need to feel at home when visiting the website, and be able to navigate it properly. The site contains a lot of information, so we wanted people to have to scroll and click as little as possible.
Start of the Project
Here at Publiek, we start with identifying the question. What exactly does a customer ask of us, and is what they believe they want actually the best option to achieve their goals? With the Kunst & Cultuur project, it soon became clear that they needed a new corporate identity and a new website. “In the old situation, they simply couldn’t explain what they did anymore," Ellen says.
K&C often functions as an intermediary between two parties. The organisation works in the background, and projects often start from some sort of cooperation between different parties. Ellen explains: “K&C is the co-organiser of great projects and events. Something they can be thoroughly proud of. With this new corporate identity and website, they can show that to the world.”
About the design of the identity, Ellen says: “In first instance, we’ve mostly looked at who K&C were, what they do, and what they’re proud of. Basically, what they really do, is introduce as many people as possible to different arts and cultural experiences, and have them participate. K&C acts as an intermediary between parties, and uses art to find the answer to many social questions. We’ve translated this mission to visuals by using bright colours and forms which are somehow interconnected. This also shows K&C is a creative organisation.
Creating a user friendly structure
The current site of K&C contains so much information, that it’s become extremely difficult to navigate. Data shows a high bounce percentage (the amount of visitors that visit a site, and almost immediately leave again). From day one, it was clear that a major overhaul was necessary. The URL, for example, contained a reference to Drenthe, the province in which K&C used to operate (www.kcdr.nl). A few years ago however, they branched out to other provinces, making this URL inaccurate.
Ellen says about this: “We’ve gone back to the drawing table. We’ve started from scratch, and assessed every element from the old website individually. Based on this, we advised K&C to leave some pages off and merge other pages together. This way we created a logical and user friendly website for every visitor.
To make sure every visitor can find their way around the new website, we’ve tested it amongst representatives of these different audiences. As its project manager, Ellen was also involved in this. “We’ve asked children, elderly, artists, musicians and teachers of both primary and secondary schools to complete assignments in a test environment of the website. One of these assignments, for example, entails finding a nice museum to visit with grandchildren. During the test we didn’t provide assistance, people had to find things out on their own. We just analysed the results and, based on those results, were able to make some significant adjustments to the design of the website. We also found out that with a lot of things concerning user friendliness, we’d already been on the right track.
Guiding the customer through the process
We have developed this new corporate identity and new website together with K&C. Good communication has been key. As project manager, Ellen is responsible for all communication between Publiek’s team and that of K&C. About this she says:
“We have taken the customer along in our story. At every step of the journey, we explained why we’d gone for certain options, communicating first with just two regular members of staff, and later on with management, other members of staff and eventually the whole organisation. This way of working instills faith in all parties involved. At this moment, we’re in the final fase of the project. The technical development of the website is in full swing, website copy is being written and we’re finishing up all corporate identity related print products such as business cards and letterheaded paper. This year is Kunst & Cultuur’s 25th anniversary. At the end of spring we’ll celebrate that by presenting them with a strong corporate identity, ready for the future!