Angela Watson holds the title for Goat’s longest client relationship. We were excited to help her realize her plans to expand on the already impressive suite of products, with the future of her audience in mind.
Previously, we’ve helped Angela launch The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek courses, designing and building a custom software solution to offer a suite of courses that help her vast and loyal customer base of K12 teachers reclaim their free time. Previous to this, we helped design and build The Cornerstone for Teachers, a blog-site with links to her books, digital resources and other products, that functioned as a hub for all things Angela Watson.
Feeling as though Cornerstone had run its course, Angela wanted to explore a new path, to shift attention from her, and shine the spotlight on talented educators that would contribute to a platform that would create discussion, provide great resources and above all create a stronger community — Angela called this platform, Truth for Teachers.
Adapting Our Processes
Our UX process differed slightly from our normal approach to building a brand new site; we have a long history with Angela, and she is very connected to her audience - more than the majority of clients are - we leveraged this knowledge and looked to her to help us craft an experience that her users would feel an affinity with. This input, combined with our own insights and understanding of the existing user base on 40 Hour and Cornerstone, meant we could quickly get to grips with the type of user we were designing for.
As Truth for Teachers would become the successor of Cornerstone, we formed a careful strategy for transferring blog content, pointing domains and generating anticipation for TfT. A holding page on the new domain, accessible from CTAs on the Cornerstone site, would inform users of the change and give a taste of what was to come. It was Angela’s hope that she could translate most, if not all, her existing audience from Cornerstone, as well as customers from 40 Hour, and her Facebook groups, over to Truth for Teachers when the time came to launch.
Building an Intuitive Structure
Empathizing with the user is a really crucial aspect of UX work. And as we began the process of constructing the wireframes it was top-of-mind for us to be considering the user journey with regards to how articles and content were related across the site, so that the exploration was intuitive, enlightening and enjoyable.
We focussed our energies on generating interactive wireframes for the platform. It was important that total alignment was reached on structure and site architecture before exploring design options, owing to the large amounts of content and how that would interact with filtering and search tools.
Establishing a design system
Our component-based design methodologies were fully utilized with this project. Despite the site’s large amount of content, the number of component types needed to furnish the site was not huge, which made page construction a breeze and adaptation for devices just as pain-free.
With a basic ground work established for componentry, we could take a broader view on what the look and feel should be. Some recognition across Angela’s product ecosystem was required. We chose colours that stemmed from shades used elsewhere, and developed them into a pleasant, accessible palette that complimented her other products.
Branding for TfT was also created. With these elements, as with the colour palette, we looked to previous product brand language, also crafted by Goat, and brought forward elements like type style and layout to inform the primary mark. This was accompanied by secondary elements that were used subtly throughout the site and communications.
We're here to brainstorm, and we're pretty friendly.