Finding a message that resonates with different generations and backgrounds
When your website is a hub for community resources, it can be a challenge to make sure the voices of your partners are not drowned out by your own branding.
This can be particularly difficult when your branding has to account for users from different generational backgrounds who expect different things from a website.
These were some of the challenges expressed by Area 1 Agency on Aging (A1AA) when they approached EvenVision in summer of 2020 with the need for a site redesign and rebuild.
Their website, A1AA.org, informs seniors in Northern California about resources available through state, federal and community-based agencies with the goal of helping them live healthy, fulfilling lives. But many seniors prefer snail mail to submit their qualifying information rather than webforms, while many visitors to the site are friends, family or care providers seeking resources on a senior’s behalf.
This meant a new site had to serve a variety of parties through a variety of agencies, all with a clearly-defined brand and user experience.
Less about ‘Who?’, more about ‘Why?’
Our first step was to think less about who was visiting the site and more about what needs they were trying to meet. This would allow us to create a homepage that would be useful to any visitor, whether young or old, tech-savvy or traditional.
We evaluated the dozens of programs offered through A1AA and it’s subcontractors, including meal deliveries, housing assistance, hoarding resources and elder advocacy. When thinking about which basic needs each program met, we came up with three categories for social, physical and environmental wellbeing. With this we created homepage headers “Staying Connected,” “Staying Healthy,” and “Staying Safe,” with related programs in a dropdown menu under each.
A1AA also offers information outside of these main categories such as volunteer opportunities, resources for how to be a caregiver, and ways community members can donate. For these we used the headers “Volunteer,” “Donate,” and “About Us,” which were distinct from the senior service categories and specific enough to help web users find what they needed.
Lighting the Welcome Sign
Next we wanted a build homepage that was friendly and inviting, but kept many of the original design elements.
We selected a layout with ample space between elements so nothing felt crowded, and added photos of seniors living active, healthy lives to add visual clarity. We also kept the soothing shades of purple that highlighted the previous webpage, as well as their sunburst logo, which the client specifically wanted to keep, though with a simpler design.
We then added language at the top of the page describing the agency’s goal to help seniors in a meaningful way. We emphasized that everyone ages, but we all age differently, and A1AA staff are uniquely positioned to match their clients with the right programs.
One Message for Many Listeners
This solved the puzzle of a single brand that could serve different users and different community partners at once. This in turn helped A1AA achieve their goal of communicating clearly to a broader audience, and connecting more seniors to services that improve their wellbeing.
We were proud to be able to work with such a vital organization and look forward to tracking user engagement to ensure their new website is getting the results they need.
Check out A1AA's new website for yourself: