Case Study

AIGA: Creating a Contemporary Design Hub for Contemporary Designers

AIGA brand pattern

About the Client

AIGA is the largest professional association of designers in the world. AIGA partnered with LookThink to strategize, design, and build their new website — and create a dynamic digital experience.

Screenshots of AIGA website

At a Glance

25,000 Members, 75 Chapters, One Powerful Website 

Through enhanced UX features, updated imagery, and new technical infrastructure, LookThink created a digital hub that reinforces the mission of AIGA to drive impact, create community, increase revenue, and deliver value.

Project Overview

Primary Goal

Rebrand AIGA's digital presence and optimize website experience

Audience / Users

AIGA subscribers and communities

Related Technologies

Drupal, Acquia

The Challenge

AIGA’s digital presence was a hodgepodge of 16 different platforms (each a complicated CMS), and a disconnected visual brand. It wasn’t an accurate reflection of AIGA or what the organization needed the site to be for its members: a content-first space that empowers, inspires, and educates the design community.

To give creators the intuitive, no-code system that they needed (no technical experience required), we built a modular site design and template library for AIGA’s new site on Drupal using Acquia’s Intuitive Cloud Platform.

Our Approach

Our Solution Focused on Creating:

1.

Custom CMS with drag and drop components

2.

Mega menu for a singular, reorganized site

3.

UX design and content strategy to promote brand cohesion

The Solution

How do we create a contemporary solution for contemporary designers?

The was the question that guided our three part solution.

AIGA website screenshots

The Results

Faster Content Creation

AIGA’s CMS was difficult to use for staff who didn’t have a technical background. It became a blocker for the organization’s content creators who needed to easily format and publish articles, case studies, and other resources about communicty events on a continual basis.
 
To give creators the intuitive, no-code system that they needed (no technical  experience required), we built a modular site design and template library for AIGA’s new site or Drupal using Acquia’s Intuitive Cloud Platform. 

Website screenshots

Higher Site Engagement

Findability (easily finding something specific) and discoverability (making sure users can find new content) are critical to the end user’s experience. Increasing both meant tackling two tasks: rethinking how AIGA’s content was organized – from the many sites into one – and simplifying the new site’s navigation.

To help users find and discover content quickly, we reorganized content by topic instead of audience and grouped these topics within a mega menu. This keeps AIGA’s wealth of information visible at a glance without adding to users’ cognitive load.

Collage of components and style guidelines for the new AIGA website

Stronger Brand Identity

As an organization that celebrates design, it was only natural to see an array of colors, logos, and fonts across pages for AIGA’s different chapters and affiliates. It was certainly creative, but it also made for an inconsistent user experience and caused confusion about the association between sub-brands.

To improve AIGA’s UX design, we standardized a color palette and typographies; created branded digital guidelines; and applied improvements targeted through an accessibility audit. Now the site is representative of the diverse community that it serves.

24x

faster to launch

It used to take two staff members one to three days to update AIGA web content with content handoffs and limited CMS accessibility. Now, it takes every team member only 30-60 minutes working collaboratively.

24%

more site traffic

Well-organized content and faster publishing times translate to better search engine rankings. Since the updates, site traffic as a whole increased by 24% and returning visitors increased by 3%.

5%

more site engagement

Think it’s hard to measure your brand identity using metrics? Think again. AIGA’s bounce rate decreased by 5% and the average session duration increased by 4%.

“With all the challenges we had in our technical infrastructure, the designs LookThink created for us really helped us push the boundaries of where we wanted to go with our brand. The site has already provided so much value to our community and internal staff.”

Michelle Koenigsknecht

Director of Marketing

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