The Story Behind MALT’s New Website
June 14, 2019
by Isabel French, Marketing Communications Manager, and Peter Fugazzotto, Associate Manager, Digital Engagement
we first started working at MALT, we noticed that the phone rang a lot. More,
much more, than at any other non-profit at which either of us had ever worked.
quickly learned this was for two reasons: 1) MALT throws amazing events, for
which you, our devoted members, show up in troves and 2) registering online was
a hassle. A huge one. It was honestly easier to just call in.
We had a problem to solve. Figuring that out was easy.
While we knew our website was in desperate need of an update, both in terms of design and function, knowing where to start — and where wanted malt.org to end up — wasn’t quite so simple.
Working with the branding and design firm Mission Minded, MALT underwent an intensive, deep-dive process to evaluate our current site, identify key audiences and develop a better experience for people like you who care about protecting farmland.
We conducted interviews with key site users, polled our staff and compared our site to those of comparable organizations working to protect land.
This was a reaffirming process and resulted in some key findings.
Our website was not mobile friendly. The site didn’t work on your phones or your tablets.
Our website was not built with specific audiences in mind. Working with Mission Minded, we identified three different audiences for our new website: long-time supporters, people interested in the work of MALT but not deeply engaged and our community of landowners, ranchers and farmers.
Our website was difficult to maintain. Design changes were expensive and the process of updating web pages was an ordeal for staff members.
Registering for events was a hassle. Our password-protected portal was a hindrance for users, our discounts could take up to a few days to process, and, even worse, the events for which some of you qualify — those oh-so-special members-only ones out on stunning, private ranches — were sometimes invisible on the website when you visited to register. We’ll spare you the details as to why. It’s absurdly complicated.
Building the New Site
After this phase of research and planning was complete, we started designing solutions. We built a new menu structure based on the experience we wanted for each of you, whether you’re an event attendee from San Francisco or a rancher looking to protect her land. We created a new design aesthetic, leveraging the stunning photography of the places you’ve helped protect. We did away with the cumbersome portal, making event registrations and donations much easier. And last, but certainly not least, we made our website mobile responsive, built on the powerful and flexible WordPress engine.
Concurrent with all of this, we also decided to strengthen associated tools for donation pages, event registration forms and our bulk email service.
We partnered with Engaging Networks, a software leader that offers nonprofits best-in-class tools for simple-to-use donation pages, seamless event registration and an email system that will allow us to better tailor the content of emails to what you want to receive.
The New Website!
In May 2019, we formally launched our new site.
We invite you to take a look at a few of the new features, all of which resulted from your input. These features include:
- An Interactive Map, which tells the story of the properties you’ve helped protect, and illustrates MALT’s work over time
- Simplified event and donate pages, making it seamless for you to register for an event or support farmland protection
- The Buy Local page, featuring the delicious foods MALT farmers and ranchers produce (and info about where you can buy them!)
- A captivating blog, where you can read stories about the people and places at the center of our work
- A special Landowner Info section dedicated entirely to landowners, ranchers and farmers, including how to apply for support from MALT
- The Our Impact page, which illustrates how much you’ve helped MALT accomplish throughout the years
How You Can Help
We hope you will help spread the word about our new website. Share it on social media so more people can get involved with protecting at-risk farms and ranches in Marin!