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Case Study

The Forum
Westminster College News Source

The Story

The Forum is Westminster College’s independent student-run news organization, which provides print, photojournalism, video and podcast news content to its students, alumni, faculty and the Sugar House community. 

Team

Jesse Cervantes
Taylor Stevens (Copywriting)

Services

Strategy
UX & UI
Brand Manual

Website Design
Marketing Material

Branding Overview

A few challenges presented themselves. First, the editor-in-chief thought the website looked more like a blog, and less like a news source. They had issues with no articles showing up when users went to their desktop and mobile sites. Second, many members of The Forum’s target demographic don’t engage with the news content because of low awareness. And although more than half of the organization’s users come to the website on their phones, those who do engage don’t have an optimal mobile experience.

The Challenge

The Forum already had a well-established brand, so we looked to maintain recognition across digital and print platforms and keep its sleek, modern appeal — but we freshened the brand up a bit with a widened color pallet. 

The Process

We began with user research and a competitive analysis to learn where they could gain an advantage in a crowed marketing place. We did extenive user testing for a better mobile and desktop experience. While users were navigating our site, we took screen recording of their actions, and noticed sections of the website that were dead spots. After, we interviewed them to see what they though could be improved and what features they would like to see implemented.

The Strategy

We worked to ensure the website was highly usable across all platforms and conducted dozens of user tests across mobile, desktop and tablets to understand how the users want to consume news.

The Impact

The Forum’s newly-designed website and refreshed brand identity have transformed the organization from a blog-like brand to a professional news source that radiates its core values of transparency and trust. Now, no matter where they come from, The Forum’s new website ensures users have an optimal reading experience. In a media landscape where news consumers are barreling toward mobile readership, the highly mobile site ensures The Forum is ahead of the curve and can bring in new consumers while keeping its old ones engaged.

Website Design

After developing the strategy and brand identity design, we created a website to that matched its environmentally sustainable ethos and down-to-earth feel. Through user testing, their customer journey to purchasing a product has been cut in half. Making it easier for the customer and more fluid for the company,

A word from our friends at The Forum

Jesse has been a joy to work with. He packs a triple punch, bringing talent, professionalism and a passion for serving his clients together to create a beautiful final product. My favorite thing about working with Jesse is that it’s always a collaborative process. He has a sharp sense of how to capture the core of a brand — and if he doesn’t quite get there the first time (and who does?), he’s keen to listen carefully and make revisions. Overall, Jesse is organized and easy to work with and I would definitely recommend choosing him to bring your brand’s vision to life.” 

 – Taylor Stevens 
Editor-in-chief, The Forum

The Impact

The Forum’s newly-designed website and refreshed brand identity have transformed the organization from a blog-like brand to a professional news source that radiates its core values of transparency and trust. Now, no matter where they come from, The Forum’s new website ensures users have an optimal reading experience. In a media landscape where news consumers are barreling toward mobile readership, the highly mobile site ensures The Forum is ahead of the curve and can bring in new consumers while keeping its old ones engaged.

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