See the Forests & the Trees

There’s a saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When there is so much information to present and it’s a challenge to organize it all. That’s where our team excels.


The team at NIACS presented us with a document outlining the new structure they were considering and the information to be presented on each page. Our team digs detail. We went through the structure from the existing site and proposed structure and made suggestions to help create an even better user experience. Each top level page on the site presents users with a choice. Using the NIACS color palette, we created clear visual cues to direct the user.

Defining Importance

When you have a site as big as NIACS (with more than 600 pages), it can be challenging to determine priority. We carefully reviewed the site details with the NIACS team and put together an eye-catching and photo-driven home page that calls attention to the work they do through clear action items and call outs. As the user scrolls down the site, they are presented with a map to find resources by state and region and are given a view into the latest demonstration projects across the country.

Creating Ecosystems

Much like their areas are divided into regions, we helped the NIACS team create easier to follow structures. Each page is carefully crafted to present the user with clear choices and actions and easy to digest content. Their “Ecosystem Vulnerability” page presents a map divided into regions with a dropdown region menu to learn more. The regional pages themselves offer photos and maps alongside content with downloadable content all handled through the backend with completely custom content types that ensure all NIACS team members create pages in a similar style.

Demonstrating Success

The home page map is further showcased through the “Adapt” menu with a large, Google-based map. The Google map has custom overlay icons that the user defines in the backend content type based on the stage the project is in (start-up, planning, action, and evaluation). Once the project is created and a location is added, the icon automatically appears on the map for site visitors to see. To help the user find information quickly, Chris helped to create a filter that uses keywords from the back end, as well as project tags based on state, landowner type, status, and focus area. All of the demonstration projects fall into neat cards below that, featuring the photo, a snipet of text, and the opportunity to learn more.

Educational Experiences

The NIACS team offers an array of information on their site, all features through simple pages and custom content types that allow for quick creation and similar structures across the team. Various team members at NIACS lead trainings and workshop, which can be further filtered by region, state, or focus area. A complete listing of all events is also available to the user, with further details on the date, location, a description, co-hosts and collaborators, as well as options for additional links and materials.

Creating Connections

A distributed team with broad focus areas requires clear communication through the contact form. We designed a contact page featuring the photos of each team member combined with their title, region, and phone number, along with the option to contact them directly through email. An additional view of this information is displayed on the our team page under “who we are” with a complete profile.

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