ISNS_BeautyShot01

Building a web presence and brand identity for ISNS from the ground up.

Client
International Seed Nutrition Society

Team
Art Director (Me)
CD / Copywriter (Susan Corbo)

Timeline
4 weeks

Tools Used
Photoshop, Illustrator

The Challenge

The International Seed Nutrition Society (ISNS) is an organization dedicated to sharing information about seed science and nutrition with people around the world through journal articles, webinars, newsletters and more. They need a web presence that doesn't feel stale (like many other existing research sites that are text-heavy) to beautifully display content.

My Approach

Create a web site that can house a blog, allow people to sign up for webinars, include membership information, and shares additional information about ISNS as an organization. Design a brand identity to be carried throughout the site (including typography, color palette, and curation of illustrations and photography).

01 Research

Competitive Analysis

Taking a look at other society web sites out there, we noticed they were very copy-heavy and lean heavily towards illustrator or very stocky photography. ISNS can distinguish itself with a more inviting design that is not inundated with information on the homepage and uses a more consistent color palette.

02 Define

Organizing a Content-Rich Web Site

A rough site map was drawn up to visualize the breadth of content that will live on ISNS. Because of the number of top-level nav items that were here, it served more as a wish list to be modified later, as we strategized which pages would be most feasible to launch with and helped us prioritize work.

ISNS_SiteMap

03 Ideate

Presenting the Menu

I explored several visual directions for the top-level navigation. The dropdown menu in the first option is able to show a deeper level of the IA, including all subpages, which is especially helpful for a site as large as this. The second option, a simple expanded hamburger menu, shows only first-level items so it is less overwhelming for the user. The third option covers top-level nav, login, and search in an expanded hamburger menu so this functionality is available at all times but tucked away to avoid cluttering the header.

04 Prototype

ISNS_Homepage_Section05
ISNS_Homepage_Section03

Showing the Beauty of Seeds

The homepage highlights and links to major sections within the site, all alongside beautiful photos of seeds. We want our users' first impression of ISNS to be clean and welcoming, with content that is laid out nicely and simple to read through.

A Proprietary Search Engine

One of the main perks of getting an ISNS membership is having access to its proprietary search engine of research material. Here, I concepted how articles can be displayed and how users might narrow down their search by seed type, country, condition, and then further specify by journals, latest news, or clinical trials.

ISNS_LatestResearch
ISNS_LatestResearch_SinglePost
ISNS_Membership
ISNS_MembershipPlan_Order

Signing Up for Membership

Users can choose from one of four membership packages and include additional benefits a la carte. Pricing for add ons and package details are laid out upfront with a straightforward one-page checkout that shows all steps of the order process.

Additional Resource Pages

Providing members even more value from the site, they can also speak to a panel of experts directly and schedule a teleconference. The blog, dubbed "Seed of the Week" keeps visitors returning for fresh content regularly.

ISNS_AskAnExpert
ISNS_Blog

A Brand Identity That Doesn't Feel Stuffy

I put together a color palette that doesn't feel too cold and corporate, instead using more neutral and earthy olive and peach tones. Subtle seed illustrations in the background break up overuse of photography and can be used for brand materials like conference items later on.

Learnings & Next Steps

A conversation with development would have helped earlier in the process, as it turns out that the dev team is using a platform that is more drag-and-drop, which limits some of the functionality in the original design.

I would have also loved to speak with doctors, researchers, and potential society members who would be users on this site and better understand what types of content they would find helpful. Since this is a research-heavy society, we would need to account for a larger content library as the site grows. Anticipating what might needed to be added based on user responses would've helped future-proof the information architecture better.