August 23, 2021 | Web Design
The Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) helps public employees prepare for retirement. After a new logo was designed by Visible Logic, their website needed an upgrade too. But the site needed more than just a new look.
Here are the four most impactful improvements we made to improve the site.
The old MainePERS site design was extremely dated-looking, using drop shadows, outdated graphics, and poor stock photos. Their antiquated design made them look less credible and was not what you would expect from an organization that makes important financial and investment decisions.
The colors, fonts, and styles didn’t match their new branding and varied widely.
Visible Logic redesigned the site, making it clean, friendly, and professional-looking. The new site matches the design styles established and used for their new building, handbooks, and other printed materials.
The old site was also was not mobile friendly and hard to navigate. The site is now responsive and can be comfortably viewed on a mobile device.
Considerations were also made to make the site more accessible by carefully selecting colors with high contrast, using highly readable fonts, and allowing visitors to enlarge the text.
Content Management System
The MainePERS site was inflexible and hard for their team to update. It was built on an outdated platform without a Content Management System (CMS).
Visible Logic built their new site with WordPress so multiple team members could add new content and easily update the existing pages and files.
Visible Logic also conducted a series of pieces of training with the MainePERS staff. It provided a custom PDF user guide to make sure they were comfortable using their new site and making additions and edits.
Because it had been hard to add new content to their old site, they often added important information to the home page. It was the only place for news and updates. Quickly, the home page became cluttered, and news would be buried among all the other information.
Over time, lots of information had become out of date. And the overall organization of content had become messy.
In the past, they had added new content and sections without consideration of the overall page organization. Some pages and files were duplicated, and some were not accessible via navigation. The navigational menus were not consistent from one area of the site to another.
Visible Logic audited and documented all of the pages, files, and content. We then created a site map to see how all the content was organized. MainePERS reviewed everything for accuracy.
Once the review was complete, Visible Logic organized the content into sections for a better user experience. It is now well organized for web users and easier for the MainePERS web team to put new content in the right place.
The site also housed hundreds of forms and documents that were hard to find for users and the MainePERS team. Visible Logic created systems for organizing, storing, and sharing files via the website.
Tracking and Analytics
The old site had no way of tracking users, page visits, or downloads, so there was no way for MainePERS to know how many people used the site or what information was the most relevant to its users.
After setting up Google Analytics, Visible Logic walked the MainePERS team through how to track page views and set up reports they can check to understand better what parts of their site are most used and what could be improved.
A successful website redesign
Redesigning a large-scale website that is widely used by the public is a challenge. The site has been and continues to be an important resource for employees and members to post and view up-to-date information about the organization.
The new site is now improved for users because it is professional looking, easier to navigate, and has well-organized, up-to-date content. The site is a big improvement for the organization because it can be more easily updated, and they have the ability to track which pages and content are frequently accessed.
Overall, the redesigned website now proudly represents the organization and is consistent with its upgraded visual identity.