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Info about the project

CREST is an initiative by the IOM that support businesses in upholding the human and labour rights of migrant workers. This project was a full redesign of their presentational website.

3 UX upgrades on the new CREST site

The case study of IOM's CREST website
  • Client:
  • Visit live:

Info about the project

CREST is an initiative by the IOM that support businesses in upholding the human and labour rights of migrant workers. This project was a full redesign of their presentational website.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) needed an updated website for its Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) programme to better communicate with partners, interested stakeholders and individuals. Heidi facilitated the development of the new website, which included a needs assessment and creation of wireframes based on IOM CREST ideas and needs. Heidi was professional, took initiative and brought many ideas into the process of building the website. They also highlighted challenges and technical and UX issues that had not otherwise been discovered. It was a pleasure working with Heidi, and we encourage all interested to visit our website to have a look at an example of their work.

*They is used as a singular pronoun.
Anastasia Vynnychenko
Anastasia Vynnychenko, CREST Programme Manager

What is a design system?

Design systems is a living document that help organisations keep their communications look as consistent as possible. And it goes beyond just branding guidelines.

It usually defines things like the buttons' colours, shapes, dimensions, and spacing, as well as fonts, and even entire elements such as footers and headers.

I personally love projects with design systems defined. Why? Because they leave space to address important factors such as usability.

Let's have a look at the top 3 improvements we've made on the new CREST site.

Carousel

There is a chance that you'll find this mistake on your home page right now.

Steve Krug in his book Don't Make Me Think! explains the challenge with home pages:

"Everybody wants a piece of it. [...] Everybody who has a stake in the site wants a promo or a link to their section on the Home page, and the turf battles for Home page visibility can be fierce." (Krug, 2006, p. 97)

The same is especially true for the above-the-fold area of websites — what we see right when we open one. To address this issue, many CSO websites opt to display a carousel (auto-advancing slideshow) which in theory, will maximise the real estate available.

Unfortunately, the users even after a decade of this feature existing still don't know their way around it.

It's best to completely avoid it and take complete control over what people see on the home page.

before
Before — header slider changes
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After — header image still

Infographics

Put your pitchforks away —

I'm not criticising infographics. Designed right, they're a great way to illustrate complex data.

However, when they're a part of a website, they usually fail at two tasks:

  • be accessible for people using assistive technologies, and
  • be readable for people on small screens (mobile devices).

If you want to show infographics on your website, the best way would be to get them properly coded into interactable visualisations. Be careful though — this can dramatically increase the overall cost of the project and its complexity!

Unless infographics add huge additional value to your website's content, it's probably best to keep them in printed media.

IOMs infographic
Old infographic embed

Resources

A very common segment of an organisational website is a page where all of the research, guidelines, and learning materials are available.

The resources page serve a number of different audience segments, and so it's crucial to keep the UX universal and robust. A common feature are filters, but NGOs also use categories and subpages to organise their content.

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The pdf format is not the best for use online due to its unresponsiveness and limited accessibility. If you decide to offer them on your site anyway, make sure to utilise the so-called "gateway pages".

Bonus: Breadcrumbs

That chain of links at the top of the page? Us usability nerds call that "breadcrumbs".

Introducing breadcrumbs is usually a very easy usability fix but it's only suitable for mid-sized to large websites.

They give you some information about where on the website you are and offer an easy way to go one or a few levels up.

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