We first tackled the Idaho Humane Society’s (IHS) website eight years ago, but so much has changed since then! IHS now has a beautiful, much larger new home, and its staff and volunteers are working hard to accommodate the Treasure Valley’s historic rise in population and pets. We were honored they contacted us and excited for the challenge of creating a site that would match their new facilities, showcase their services, and highlight everything else they offer our community.
The Backlog of Idaho Humane Society
The staff at IHS are great communicators, and there were 1,300+ pages of announcements, promotions, blogs, social media posts, and more to sort through. Thomas Walsh, our associate creative director and lead on the project, began by revamping the site’s information architecture.
“IHS has tons of services, events, and outreach to the community,” Thomas says. “A lot of that information was getting lost. Their main focus is — and should be — adoption, but I was completely blown away by the programs and services they offer. Their work includes education outreach to summer camps and schools, dog training classes, fostering and training programs with local prisoners, and so much more. They have always done a wonderful job using social media to get their message across, so we wanted to use those platforms and incorporate them into the new site. As a non-profit, anything we can do to minimize the amount of repetitive work, the better.”
Creating a New Home For The Idaho Humane Society
A new menu categorizes all of IHS’s services into buckets (adopt, support, veterinary, etc.) — each of which might have more than a dozen options within those buckets. The menu has the added bonus of seamlessly drawing the viewer’s eye from adoption to services to outreach, so previously hard-to-find programs are within sight. Now, a user might visit the page to look for a new dog to add to the family, but also browse through the foster program, ways to donate pet food to families in need, or upcoming community events.
The color scheme also received a refresh. Instead of the serviceable beiges that dominated the site before, Thomas chose a punch of auxiliary colors like a gradient red/orange and black (which also happens to be the color scheme of the new IHS building). Large, simple shots of animals draw the eye in and complement the simple text. Thomas also wanted to do more than display pets, but bridge the gap between those that need to be adopted and the people who adopt them. For example, every time you roll over an image of a pet, you’ll see an image of a family or a person with a pet.
Of course, the stellar IHS social media feeds got some love, too: They are now prominently displayed in a strip across the homepage. Thomas also optimized the site so that it is fully responsive and works across desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Formerly Carew Co, has a long and proud tradition of working with nonprofits, so we were well prepared for the particular opportunities and challenges that arise from collaborating with volunteers. Thomas designed the site to be as user-friendly as possible to reduce the number of volunteer hours spent updating the content. Overall, the project took more than a year, but we think the wait was well worth it.
Check it out! Who knows — you might even find a new, fuzzy member of the family while you’re at it.