Redesigning a Website to Support Education Equity
The National Head Start Association is the leading advocate for the Head Start community—an education policy advocacy and professional development leader that supports hundreds of schools, a membership of thousands of educators, and countless families across America. After developing a new strategic model and with its 50th anniversary arriving, NHSA asked Constructive to develop a new brand strategy, visually rebrand them, and rethink their digital strategy.
How can we express 50 years of advancing education equity?
NHSA’s 50th anniversary and new strategic plan provided the perfect platform for exploring ways to evolve its historic, iconic brand—and shed some outdated perceptions. Through research and brand strategy workshops, we developed positioning and messaging that clearly communicates the NHSA’s mission, values, roles, and relationships—emphasizing their social justice mission to ensure equal access to high-quality education for every child in America. The resulting brand strategy provided the framework needed to design a visual identity and website that embodied NHSA’s mission.
How much should we really change an iconic American brand?
NHSA’s history dates back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiatives—and its iconic logo had been the brand’s visual calling card for decades. But while there may have been a good deal of brand equity in NHSA’s mark, it failed to reflect the organization’s status as a powerful national voice in American education and society. With this in mind, we redesigned NHSA’s iconic logo and developed a new system of brand colors and typography— retaining the organization’s history and existing brand equity while making a statement that NHSA was ready to improve education and opportunity for every child in America in the 21st century.
A website making life difficult for staff and audiences.
NHSA’s website was sorely outdated and failed to meet their needs or those of their audience. Confusing navigation, poorly organized content, an abundance of text-heavy pages, and design that failed to engage audiences combined to deliver user experiences that made their content inaccessible and undermined NHSA’s brand. And on the backend, a clunky CMS with a clunky Salesforce integration made managing the website and the needs of members a chore.
We need to make sure we balance narrative and resources.
Seven years since its last redesign, NHSA’s website was large and tangled. Following a site audit and content analysis, we collaborated on a user experience design, leveraging brand strategy work to focus the message and balance the experience with usability goals and access to content, resources, and events. A robust system of page templates meets the website’s diversity of content and functional needs—designed for impact to keep audiences engaged, providing a foundation for storytelling and knowledge sharing, and elevating and calls to action.
Time to design a website that paves the way for the next 50 years.
Building off of our rebranding, NHSA’s design strategy combines the youthful exuberance of children’s education with a smart, clean, and structured aesthetic that reinforces their evidence-based, results-driven focus. A customized responsive user experience design focuses on reaching teachers, school leaders, and parents where they are, providing easy access to essential information on programs, resources, events, and more so that NHSA’s brand community can work together more effectively to make a difference in the lives of children across America.
NHSA’s new brand strategy, visual identity, and website work together to deliver a bold brand experience that presents the organization as a strong ally, advocate, and leader for education equity and achievement in the 21st century.
How can we deliver greater value online to our members?
NHSA’s website represents much more than a marketing presence. It’s also a central destination for thousands of NHSA members to engage with the organization and access benefits. We strengthened NHSA’s member services by integrating a new Drupal CMS with their Salesforce CRM, providing single-sign-on that facilitates account management and makes it easy to access gated content and events. Combined with custom publishing workflows for staff, NHSA’s redesigned website reflects their brand and engages their national audience to deliver more of everything the organization has to offer.