In the summer of 2008, TMM Lead Designer Simon Fung was approached by the Crossroads Cultural Center to revamp its online presence. The three year old New York- and D.C.-based cultural center had an established following but its website at the time did not reflect the quality of its monthly events, which included an impressive lineup of speakers—CNN host Paula Zahn, The New Republic contributing editor Peter Beinart, and papal biographer George Weigel among them.
The first step was to complete a site analysis and to sit down with the Crossroads founders to better understand the possibilities for the Crossroads brand and the future plans of the organization. Short on technical staff, the cultural center needed a site that was easy to manage and update. The center also had several new offices slated to open in the upcoming year, so it was essential that the site allow for regional expansion and remote updating from around the country.
The founders were also looking for a site that would communicate the experience of the cultural center—an experience characterized by curiosity, wonder, attention to beauty, and a passion for the world. The design would need to appeal to both a refined, older audience, and a culturally-savvy younger audience.
In the end, the redesign captured the vibrant spirit of the Crossroads logo—a variation of Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie Woogie”— while bringing the site a modern chic that reflected the cultural center’s interest in beauty and current events. TMM provided a low-cost and flexible platform that allowed Crossroads to easily manage the site using a drag and drop interface.
Since the new site launch in January 2009, traffic has increased five-fold, and several high profile speakers – including NASA astronaut Mark Kelly – have noted the website as the determining factor in their decision to accept Crossroads speaking invitations. Email list management, a fundraising gateway, and online expansion are the next areas to be focused on in 2010.