Creating Affordable Housing for New Yorkers
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) develops affordable multi-family housing for NYC residents. Their leading work stimulates economic growth and revitalizes neighborhoods throughout the City. As part of their strategic initiatives to communicate and serve their audiences more effectively, 3rd Edge was invited to redesign their organization’s website.
Getting to Know You
Perhaps our favorite part of working with partners is getting to know them. We started with discovery and an audit of their existing site’s structure and content.
Through key executive interviews and collaborative working sessions, we were able to identify HDC’s needs, goals, audiences and key actions they desired people to take. Along with our development partner, Agency Labs, we assessed the current technology being used and crafted a technical approach and timeline for the site’s build out.
Don’t Make Me Think
With an understanding of HDC’s audience and their needs, we redeveloped the site’s information architecture from the ground up. We created a hierarchy of primary and secondary actions reflected in the main menu. The menu sections were renamed to identify actions HDC wants people to take. Site page content was structured to present HDC’s content in an intuitive manner. Tabs and accordions are utilized to house and display volumes of information without creating walls of text. The site’s main menu offers visitors multiple language options and site search. A takeover menu presents people with clear, easy-to-read content options. We ensured that the multi-layered process of finding and applying for affordable housing is crystal clear.
Crafting an Engaging Visual Experience
Utilizing HDC’s pre-existing logo, we expanded their visual brand vocabulary with fresh typography and an extension of their color palette. We created a modern design that features their architectural photography and renderings. The new design accommodates a wide range of content and publications that HDC is required to present to the general public. Our visual design approach creates coherence among these widely varying types of content. In addition, we advised HDC on the nature and scope of their written copy for each page.
Building Responsive Engagement
For this site, which is used by tens of thousands of residents looking for much sought after affordable housing monthly, we developed a series of highly responsive interactions for them. As people engage with the site’s content, a sticky main menu, and a series of content rollover effects including motion, color change and underlining, creates an intuitive interface experience. A site-wide announcement bar notifies the audience of key breaking developments. The mobile responsive site works well on all devices including cell phone and tablet. On the back-end, Agency Labs also built a user-friendly Drupal CMS interface enabling HDC to bring management of their site in-house. The site also meets accessibility standards for the visually impaired.