The Kresge Foundation


Project

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation headquartered in Troy, Michigan, that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing.

The Kresge Foundation Communications team looked to Q + TUG to collaborate on a responsive website upgrade that would advance the Foundation’s objectives, positioning the Foundation as a learning institution and a center for research and new knowledge, and shift the site’s focus toward the Foundation’s current work in American cities.

Challenge

Kresge’s website was in need of a content management system upgrade as well as design and technical modifications in order to respond to dramatic increases in mobile and social media use. These needs provided an opportunity for the Foundation to reevaluate the website’s purpose and improve the user experience with more sophisticated content delivery and sharing capability.

The new website would need to communicate the Foundation’s evolving multidisciplinary approach to grantmaking and social investing. It should also reflect the increasing public visibility of Kresge’s programs and leaders, including the president’s prominence as a thought leader in philanthropy and urban revitalization. In addition, the website should facilitate the presentation of new content in all media formats, content that would in turn help attract visitors and enhance the Foundation’s reach, reputation, and influence.

Balcony

To understand the overall structure of kresge.org, TUG used the metaphor of a building. At the balcony level visitors get an inspiring overview of the Foundation's vision. At the street level visitors access main section content and learn about the Foundation’s work.

Our Approach

Q served as project manager on this engagement and worked closely with TUG and the Kresge Communications team during this 18-month project. Experience has proven that diligent and thorough project management is essential and that understanding supported by clear, consistent communication is critical to the success of a project.

TUG began with an analysis of the existing Kresge website; then conducted user research to better understand the actual and desired experiences of key audience members using the site, as well as their digital and social media behaviors. TUG produced a strategy report defining goals and detailing information architecture and user experience plans for the new website’s structure.

Kresge site map

TUG developed a site map illustrating the new website structure. This diagram indicates the various purposes of the site, shows how content is connected and cross-linked, and highlights opportunities for social sharing.

Q transformed TUG’s structural framework into a set of vibrant new page designs that highlight Kresge’s work and enhance communication and transparency with Foundation grantees, partners, and the philanthropic community. Each page design was modified for the best desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone experience.

Kresge design process

In the early stages of the website creation process, Q + TUG used pin up boards and paper documents. This is often the easiest way for our clients to see the whole picture and visualize how the website will look before development begins.

Result

  • A bold, contemporary design that complements refreshed, simplified content, updated program and practice area descriptions, and new pages for grant opportunities.
  • The site is mobile-friendly and meets W3C accessibility guidelines.
  • Migration to a new content management system ensures infrastructure stability and security.
  • The website structure and navigation align with the Foundation’s evolving operating practices and priorities.
  • Enhanced social media connectivity helps to build Kresge’s standing as a learning institution and supports the president as a thought leader, as well as increases engagement with current and desired audiences.
Kresge mobile site

Kresge responsive website

Q + TUG and the Kresge Communications team worked with technical partner Forum One for the development phase of this project. As project manager, Q provided a smooth transition from the information architecture and design phases through production; managed the content and asset upload process; and set up weekly, and sometimes daily, updates for the Kresge Communications team leading up to launch of the website.

Let’s plan ahead. Talk with us.

Websites that align with your brand require planning. If your organization knows it’s time for a new site let’s simply start a conversation. No pressure, no obligation, no calls.

Q LTD is a strategic design studio headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with representation in Toronto and Palm Springs.

TUG (The Understanding Group) is an information architecture practice with offices in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan.