Solidarity, tolerance, freedom, equality, justice.
And a new internet presence. Our relaunch including complete technical support from www.awo.org was no small job.
It all started with a non-binding request for a cost estimate. The subject was the revision of the website of the AWO Federal Association. In addition to the relaunch of the main domain (awo.org), another seven offers had to be combined, some of which were Wordpress or TYPO3 installations. The takeover of the web server and subsequent support were also desired.
A neat task. And about a year ago also a step further than the average projects at Henkelhiedl. That is different today.
We were and are able to meet all the requests in 2017.
The content has always been there anyway, and here the specifications were also pleasantly restrained: preparation of all structures from the user's point of view, guaranteeing barrier-free access, responsive design, low-threshold access, SEO optimisation and a good idea for structuring the many contents.
Almost exactly 12 months after the decision for Henkelhiedl , the first big step has now been taken: the relaunch of awo.org and the integration of the various fragmented campaign sites into a single large website.
In order to bundle all the departments, activities, the complex structures, projects, offers and information of the Workers' Welfare Association, an organising navigation is unavoidable. It has become very extensive. For this very reason, it was important to us to offer everything at a glance. To see immediately where the desired information can be found.
Various small tools and helpers are also hidden in the system. For example, a sophisticated (now also complete) cross-content search for all usage scenarios. Besides the interested public, press and politicians, it is not least the 401,000 members, 145,000 employees and 100,000 volunteers who are looking for "their" content.
In order to prevent the site from becoming a structural ghetto, the most important step in terms of content was the introduction of a second, thematic navigation level.
In the future, all (!) content on the site will be keyworded in three layers: location within the rigid navigation, sorting into one or more of almost 30 topic areas, and the awards for the respective detailed article. This enables us to place the topic layer as a filter over all information in order to find all important articles, press releases, blog posts, etc., e.g. on topics such as »work« or »age«. We were surprised how much more lively the content becomes.
Responsive & barrier-free - as a matter of course
Mentioning the mobile version of the site separately is actually obsolete for a Responsive Design. However, we would like to mention that we have chosen the »bottom navigation« tab bar for the most important UI elements of the navigation. Users of phablets will thank AWO for this. In addition, the four entries immediately clarify what the core content of the page is: topicality, the extensive menu, the easy language and the entry via the topic filters.
Accessibility is important, a standard, and is only mentioned here so that others feel reminded of this standard. Item.
In day-to-day operations, the capacity of Arbeiterwolhfahrt is of course limited as far as the visual design of the contributions is concerned. The frequency is far too high, far too many people work in automated processes on the content for the site.
Nevertheless, we have introduced a minimum design concept, which also includes a picture concept. This is not rigid, rather a strong recommendation: all people look into the camera at all times if possible, an attempt should be made to always show at least two people. It's about solidarity, community and support. We wanted to communicate this in the best possible way, also through the pictures. For the start, Frank Schinski from the Ostkreuz agency was extremely successful.
As part of the corporate identity, we focused on the AWO colours - black, white and red. A bright design focused on clarity facilitates readability and an overview in the amount of content. The emotionality inherent in AWO's topics becomes accessible through the use of large images, especially in the topic layer.
Milestone & Future
The project was (and above all is) special for our office because it was technically extremely extensive, took a whole year of planning and involved technical implementation on a level that we had never had before on this scale.
The server structure alone, the standardisation of the various content management systems and the flexibilisation of the processes for future changes were unimaginable in scope. And that was just the beginning. Also new is what we have long offered in small projects: complete all-round support including hosting, maintenance and care of the entire system. Even though the public relaunch is only one part of the process, a sub-project, the work on the public site continues just as we will be working on AWO's internal system throughout 2017. Henkelhiedl now provides full support, even under the bonnet.
The relaunch of awo.org is a special project. A challenge that entailed complex effort, but was also particularly pleasant - thanks to the very cooperative and respectful team on the client side. Many thanks!
The Workers' Welfare Association (Arbeiterwohlfahrt) is one of the six umbrella organisations of non-statutory welfare organisations in Germany. Due to its history and its socio-political self-image, it is a welfare association with a special character. Women and men have come together in it as members and as voluntary and full-time workers in order to help deal with social problems and tasks in our society and to realise the democratic, social constitutional state.