Viewing entries tagged
digital design

Feeding 1.4 million hungry New Yorkers

Feeding 1.4 million hungry New Yorkers

When we first crossed paths with The New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH), we were surprised to learn that over one million New Yorkers live in households without sufficient food. New Yorkers are cantankerous enough on a full stomach!

Working with corporate sponsor ConAgra Foods, Inc.  and NYCCAH, we designed HungerVolunteer.org to match skilled New Yorkers to agencies in need.

With an eye towards national expansion - we designed the site to ask “Who is Hungry in America?”, “How Can you help?” and to suggest “Volunteer Today”. Taking the “Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service” Initiative and Toolkit as point of departure, this site communicates the myriad ways in which New Yorkers can help support the 1.4 million low-income residents of the city who rely on the city’s 1200 non profit soup kitchens and food pantries for sustenance.

Our messaging identifies the different kinds of volunteers drawn to hunger relief and offers encouragement (and volunteer opportunities) specifically for them:

                  Are you a student looking to volunteer?

                  Are you a business eager to make a difference?

Our messaging also  relies on calls to action such as:

                  Increase use of child nutrition programs

                  Grow & distribute farm-fresh food

                  Raise public awareness

The site increases NYCCAH’s  national  reach by inviting skilled volunteers to fill the specific needs of  their local agencies. It identifies and maps these volunteer opportunities to a nationwide map generated by NYCCAH’s database of food agencies.

We also put a social media outreach strategy in place using Facebook, Twitter and an e-mail campaign to continue to engage volunteers over time.

NYCCAH meets the immediate food needs of more than 1.4 million low- income New Yorkers and the 1200 non profit soup kitchens and food pantries that serve them. To better manage all the relationships that make NYCCAH effective, we worked closely with them to convert their Web site and myriad databases to a single platform - building data visualizations of their food service partners across the city. Agencies create their own profile and volunteer opportunities - tagged by the skills desired.  

skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, CiviCRM, HTML, CSS, SOLR, social media marketing, administrator training

                        

 

Envisioning the future by studying the past

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rayogram's ground-up redesign of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s interactive strategy includes two distinct, interrelated websites, an educational portal, as well as an online store.

As the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 education, their public facing websites encompass a searchable database of 63,000 archival materials, online exhibitions, videos, lesson plans, and the online journal History Now. All were created with a keen understanding of historical design techniques, allowing Gilder Lehrman to envision their future while remaining focused on the past.

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Matching communities with leaders

Matching communities with leaders

We found it a delight to collaborate with the priests of the Episcopalian Church to design a database for jobs within their nationwide organization. Their unique mission statement set the tone of our collaboration: “With our gifts, skills, and calls to ministry identified and shared we are poised to enter into ministry transitions with both confidence and vulnerability.”

For The Episcopal Church—which is comprised of 109 individual dioceses in 17 nations—something as simple as posting job openings and internal hiring was a colossal task given that their platform was decades old. We created a Web application that simplified and streamlined this process. Individual users maintain their professional profile on the platform so that higher-ups can mine their resumes and profiles to match them to the right positions. And individual worshipping communities (churches, schools etc.) post their opportunities for individuals to search.

We designed this platform from the database architecture to the user interface. Together these carefully engineered elements allow one to create a ‘portfolio’ of information such family demographics, salary requirements, unique skills, links to social media samples of one’s work - even one’s aspirations. These individual profiles can be mined and matched to job opportunities using a robust SOLR search engine.  Users can carefully mine the data within the platform, save, and reuse their carefully crafted searches. They can also generate a PDF of any portfolio that interests them in their search for the perfect job or job applicant.

skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, stakeholder forcus groups, database architecture, Drupal,  HTML, CSS, SOLR, user training, ongoing support

Serving 19 million New Yorkers

Serving 19 million New Yorkers

We New Yorkers count on 62 district senators to meet our needs state-wide. And today we expect to communicate with them via phone, e-mail, even social media networks to discuss everything from important statewide policy changes from mandatory preK to potholes. 

The New York State Senate’s “Open Senate” initiative is a series of award-winning technology solutions that seek to maximize the transparency and accessibility of legislative information for all New Yorkers, and provide new ways for citizens to participate in the legislative process.

The problem
The New York State Senate’s 62 senate offices were relying on a 20 year-old Mainframe-computer based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage 15 million constituents.

The solution
rayogram
created a modern, web-based constituent relationship management (CRM) system on the open-source Drupal and CiviCRM software platforms to replace the New York State Senate's 20 year-old mainframe- computer based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system.

This CRM empowers senate staff to track registered voter’s complaints and comments delivered via phone, e-mail, Web forms and more. At the same time this information is consolidated into distinct constituent’s records, it is disseminated among the entire senate office’s staff for easier case management and quicker resolution of voter issues.

The reuse
The source code for this solution, branded Bluebird, has been made public and was reused and adapted by The Office of The Public Advocate of New York City. 

skills deployeddiscovery, stakeholder interviews, information architecture, copywriting, branding & logo design, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, HTML, CSS, SOLR, administrator training, ongoing support.

Rebranding the face of state government

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Living in a major metropolis, we are lucky to be faced with dozen of choices of where to  pick up our morning coffee. And we know that customer service builds brand loyalty - that the barista with the warm greeting will win us over every time. There’s no choice when it comes to renewing our driver’s licenses - so customer service matters even more.  rayogram worked with Governor Cuomo’s Communications Department and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to overhaul the DMV  brand as part of a statewide Customer Service Initiative.  


Our creative strategy promotes the DMV as a friendly, capable, efficient agency ready to meet the needs of millions of New Yorkers each day. The site’s information architecture satisfies the needs of individuals and organizations and is fully integrated with social media.  Its conversational tone supports the agency’s key message (developed by rayogram): "Welcome to the DMV, how can we help you today?" This is carried over into the physical design of the DMV offices and the website. Like all websites we design today, the site is responsive to whether a visitor is using their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer to view the site.

We're so proud that the site has won aPinnacle Award (decided by a panel of experts from inside and outside government), a National Association of Government Web Designer Members’ Choice Award (decided by popular vote), as well as a Best Website Award from DMV.com whose praise included:

"The New York DMV website is very user friendly with a forms search application that is quite handy and a conveniently located 'Save time, do it online' button." 

rayogram provided content development in the form of a strong Information Architecture, an analysis of existing content, the recommendation of new content, stock photo research, original illustration, and the training of close to 100 staff members to rewrite hundreds of pages of Web site content using Plain Language guidelines. We also created key pages in six languages including: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Italian, Haitian Creole, and Korean. Awards include the 2015 Pinnacle Award from the National Association of Government Web Professionals among others.

 We also performed extensive user tests to establish benchmarks for measuring success of the site - and to identify and resolve any issues with the new site’s user-experience. The site is built using the open source CMS Drupal with special attention to Section 508 compliance, Search Engine Optimization, and integration with Social Media platforms. Its features include interactive maps, a browsable database of forms, and the use of taxonomy to present relevant forms alongside editorial content.

skills deployed: discovery, branding & logo design, information architecture, copywriting, plain language training, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, HTML, CSS, SOLR, administrator training, ongoing support