For more than 20 years the People's Kitchen has provided a free meal at noon to families in need. Nearly 30,000 meals are served each year. A large portion of success from the People's Kitchen is due to volunteer efforts of many local organizations and individuals.
After analyzing the nonprofits current site I redesigned the layout, framed compositions, and built an entirely new website with an updated look and feel.
In order to revitalize the People's Kitchen website I had to first prioritize the information. From the start it was obvious that the navigation bar had too many tags. Once I decreased the amount of tags it was easier to decide where meal instructions and serving group info would reside. The next step was establishing a functional and aesthetically pleasing grid. Using paper prototypes and collecting peer feedback I was able to come up with two compositions, both different in look and feel.
I developed two compositions using Adobe Illustrator, each consisting of two pages and with opposite styles. While one composition aims to create a friendly and inviting atmosphere, the other emphasizes the bitter reality of hunger. Both compositions eliminated certain aspects of the navigation bar from the original website and better organized volunteer information. Through the use of a simple form I made it easier for users to ask questions and get involved.
At this stage I received feedback from my peers with specific "likes" and "dislikes" of the two compositions. The first critique I received focused primarily on the grid of each composition and whether or not the layout made sense. They suggested finding a better way to separate large bodies of text. Others questioned the line spacing and kerning in both headers and body text. Most were pleased to see the introduction of color.
The current People's Kitchen logo is somewhat outdated. I aimed to give the logo a sleeker design while keeping certain aspects of the original, such as the ladle.
The final product was a result of paper mockups, computer compositions, and client feedback. The client preferred a more vibrant and inviting color scheme similar to the first composition and better understood the layout of the second. The most challenging part of this assignment was prioritizing information in a way that highlights the essentials without completely overshadowing all other material.
This project was an overall positive experience given that I had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit. Being responsible for an entire website taught me the importance of prototypes.
I believe that the site is far easier for users to navigate and I am eager to see if the owner will implement the updates to their business.