Words: Sarah Stone, Director and Founder of Stone Barrell
Dreams transform the world.
We like to challenge ourselves at Stone Barrell, and we want to change the world. So, when offered a job writing about accelerating nonprofit impact through digital transformation, we had to accept.
Getting our heads around the NetHope IDEA Journey wasn’t the easiest task – especially because its online home was not very accessible. The IDEA Journey was spread over ten-plus webpages. There was a lot of content, but that made it hard to identify exactly what the IDEA Journey was all about and why it was so exciting. And that’s why nonprofit organization NetHope wanted some communications help.
The NetHope IDEA Journey methodology is helping to accelerate the missions of some of the most impactful NGOs in the world. Organisations including SOS Children’s Villages, Mercy Corps, British Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee have embarked on IDEA Journeys to solve some of their toughest challenges – going through the four tried-and-tested stages, Imagine, Design, Execute and Assess, to conceptualise, design and enact a solution that will lead to more impact for their organization. NetHope’s IDEA Journey is used and respected by leading nonprofits and tech companies, and is sponsored by Microsoft.
After chatting with the Chief Innovation Officer at NetHope, Jean-Louis (JL) Ecochard, I was quickly inspired. Jean-Louis has been at the heart of the IDEA Journey since its inception, and he wanted its web presence to reflect its impact. The IDEA Journey needed to appeal to both potential participants (nonprofits) and to the donors nonprofits approach to support their journeys.
Working with NetHope, we reduced the number of IDEA Journey web pages down by two thirds, creating an IDEA Journey landing page that led with impact (the why), an IDEA method page that laid out the four stages of the IDEA Journey (written by JL), and a Get started page outlining the nine steps nonprofits will need to take to embark on their bespoke journey.
NetHope and Microsoft (the IDEA Journey sponsor) were pleased with the new IDEA Journey content. But then they encountered another hurdle. Making the content visually engaging, easy to navigate and brand boosting on the nethope.org website.
Stone Barrell was commissioned to help again. Time was limited as the pages needed to be online in time for Microsoft’s conference Microsoft Inspire. We called in Paul Dyke from web design agency Parasola to collaborate on designing a great user experience for anyone visiting the IDEA Journey. Structuring and designing web pages that fitted within NetHope’s existing colour scheme and branding, we created a new visual identity for the IDEA Journey and increased functionality, using a sticky navbar, sub-headings and clean graphic elements to give visitors to the IDEA Journey a great experience. If you’re interested in the technical side of the process Stone Barrell directed, Paul explains the process in more detail in his IDEA Journey blog.
The finalised IDEA Journey is visually beautiful, easy to navigate and interesting and inspiring to read (as you’d expect from NetHope, which is doing so much good for the nonprofit sector). Do check it out and let us know what you think!
Working on the NetHope IDEA Journey was a great opportunity for Stone Barrell to make a complex topic accessible for a broad audience, draw on and collaborate with other creatives with different skills, and hopefully expand the reach of IDEA Journey so even more organizations can achieve their world-changing dreams.
And we left the team at NetHope happy, too. That’s what we love to do!
“Your collaborative style and leadership have been two of the great qualities I have appreciated in working with you. It has been an honour and a pleasure to have you as a partner in our journey,” Jean-Louis Ecochard, NetHope.