Case Study: HCT

Connecting Users with Content

Challenged with architecting and coding a website for a $4 billion organization
leading with content allowed us to leapfrog many design obstacles.

Before the Jump

The Helmsley Charitable Trust website had all the makings of a monstrous challenge: relatively short buildout time, a long list of features that required custom Drupal modules and some steady-handed programming acrobatics, all in a fully-responsive website. Working with a fantastic New York design firm made it easy. The site itself is designed to support a network of nonprofits and individuals all over the world. With a high degree of difficulty, we needed to take this from the 10 meter platform and make even Greg Louganis proud.


The old Helmsley Charitable Trust website was redesigned inside and out.

The Big Leap

Why the redesign? The old site didn’t work too well on handheld devices and badly needed a refreshing. But the overall redesign objective was not just for the surface. The organization had a mountain of useful information — grant-related information, program information, news and event annoucements, staff directories — that couldn’t be displayed on the old site. In building the new version, we worked closely with design leadership to carefully delineate all the content types, attributes, relationships and behaviors to configure the Drupal CMS and multi-viewport experiences to spec. Under the gun for a quick version release, this was synchonized diving at its most demanding.


How We Landed


One guidepost we used throughout the development process is seeing whether the organization is able to quickly update the staging site on their own. As we saw content pouring in — both manually through the CMS and through a JSON feed of their grants database — each release inched us closer to a product we were confident will meet stakeholder expectations. A dozen somersaults (and a few twists) later, our design partner’s and client’s vision of a lively, responsive and informative website left the springboard and emerged to score high marks.