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Website Case Study: Women's Refugee Commission

Website Case Study: Women's Refugee Commission

Zuno Studios is one of the top design studios in the USA that works with Joomla! on a regular basis. Voted as the "Best Joomla! Web Design Firm" at this year's CMS Expo, they are well known in the Joomla community and produce beautiful Joomla sites on a regular basis. In this month's Joomla Community Magazine Website Case Study, we sat down with Maribel Lackey, Director of New Media & Client Services for Zuno to ask her about a recent site build they just completed.

Client: Women's Refugee Commission
Development Time:
2 months
Charitable Organizations / Non-profits

Client Bio:

The Women's Refugee Commission is a non-profit organization that advocates for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children and young people. The organization, a subdivision of the International Rescue Committee, was founded over 20 years ago and today, their web presence plays a larger role in building awareness and raising donations.

Developer: Zuno Studios
URL: http://zunostudios.com

Developer Bio:

Zuno Studios is different than your standard design or web development studio. We're bilingual if you will — figuratively and literally. Able to speak in both creative and technical tongues. What's this mean for our clients? They get something beautiful that actually works. Not to mention that we're extremely interesting folks. Zuno Studios uses Joomla! because of it's powerful, flexible framework and extensive community.

Development Team:

Jonathan Lackey, Creative Director & Lead Developer: Jon provided creative direction and strategy and led the development team.
Tony Smith, Senior Designer: Tony was lead designer on the project
Matthew Mesa, Jr. Developer: Matt built custom templates and extensions.
Maribel Lackey, Director of New Media & Client Services: Maribel provided social media strategy and handled project management.

What were some of the challenges you faced going into the site build?

The client's previous site presented a lot of information, but lacked information hierarchy and organization. The look of the site was very stark and not particularly inviting or engaging. The site was also very difficult for the client to manage and update. A core part of their online content is reports that are made available to visitors of their site. The client needed to be able to quickly and easily post and update reports and track the number of downloads for each.

Can you talk a bit about the solutions you used?

On the backend, our focus was on making the site easier for our client to manage and update. We updated their existing install of Joomla! with a custom design and template, custom extensions and a restructuring of content and menus. Our team built custom components to manage photo galleries, the staff's bios, the homepage marquees and their social media accounts. We used DOCman to help them manage documents and track downloads.

List of Extensions Used:

Did Zuno Create any Custom Extensions?
  • Photo Galleries: Allows clients to manage photos, photo essays and photo galleries
  • Marquee: The client uses marquees on the home page as a slideshow to point visitors to specific content. This custom component allows the client to easily create and publish new marquees that range from photos to videos.
  • Organization: Allows the client to update and manage categories and assign staff member to specific categories. (e.g., Board of Directors, Program Staff)
Do You Have Any Final Thoughts?

It is always rewarding to work with non-profit organizations, because it allows us to be a part of the cause in a small way. We have a continued working relationship with the Women's Refugee Commission, and have greatly enjoyed becoming a part of their team, not only when it comes to design and development work, but also in online and social media strategy.

The key milestone achieved was developing a website that met their specific needs, by creating custom components that were tailored to them. The client has the ability to do what they need to do without wading through a lot of extra features, which has helped simplify management on their end.

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