4-H is a non-profit youth development organization and registered charity that spans 10 provinces across Canada and 70 countries across the world. 4-H Ontario has been building youth into leaders for over 100 years. With roots in rural Ontario, the organization offers programs, camps, conferences, and competitions that are open to youth of all backgrounds across the province.
In 2019 4-H requested the support of a web design firm to lead them through the technical needs and methodologies associated with a large-scale website redevelopment project, and to advise on industry best practices. Sandbox was proud to be awarded the contract, and to collaborate with 4-H Ontario to create an engaging website supported by modern technologies.
Sandbox began the 4-H website redesign project by conducting a thorough Digital Strategy phase. We met with multiple stakeholders including staff, volunteers, membership and board members to get opinions for 4-H’s dynamic audience. Our discovery also includes a review of web traffic statistics that was used to identify popular content as well as pages that could be removed or amalgamated due to limited interactions. Our team also worked with 4-H to gain a full understanding of their existing technical products and infrastructure, including their Raisers Edge Database, and the expectations for third-party integrations. Our in-house designer created a custom responsive design for the new www. 4-hontario.ca based on the aesthetic preference identified as part of our discovery. We ensured the design was user-centric, engaging and aligned with the established 4-H brand. Sandbox established a new information architecture that ensured frequently accessed information was in a prominent location but was also easily adaptable and responsive to audience demands. The new 4-H Ontario website was built in the WordPress Content Management System and now features online events, program registration and membership management capabilities. There is a secure Portal for Board members to access proprietary documents and materials. Sandbox also created a custom, interactive, dynamic map that provides a visually engaging geographical view of all of 4-H Ontario Associations. User can quickly identify their closest association, view the colour-coded map by region, and easily navigate to dedicated Association pages for more information.
The new website was launched in November 2020 and provides a captivating and engaging look at 4-H Ontario. It showcases the organization as dynamic, modern, inclusive and helps facilitate new membership and volunteers registrations while adhering to the 4-H Ontario brand and features partners and sponsors. Content has been refined to be inclusive and appealing to all target customer demographics, improve search engine optimization, and encourage donations. WordPress makes it easy for 4-H staff to add or update content on the website, and appropriate permissions ensure administrators can control the process and workflow from multiple content authors. Online payments (donations), accessible applications, and fillable forms are just some of the new features that have transformed the user experience of the 4-H website. The integration with various social media platforms allows members (particularly youth) to share information, showcase events and programs, and promote their 4-H Association across their own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.
After reviewing and considering multiple CMSs, 4-H selected WordPress for their website. The ease-of-use, absence of upfront costs (no licence fee) and Sandbox’s custom coding capabilities within the open source CMS were some of the main factors that informed selection.> WordPress Development
As part of our Digital Strategy, Sandbox worked with the 4-H team to garner opinions and thoughts about the new website from the broad and diverse 4-H stakeholder groups. Our in-person workshops generated key insights that led to recommendations on Information Architecture, Designs, Site Map, and technical recommendations.> Digital Strategy & Consulting
Sandbox is not just a web design agency. Our talented team of developers are adept at creating custom solutions from scratch as well as marrying existing technical products to our clients’ preferred solution. We provided integration with Raiser Edge to help streamline data, reporting and administrative process, and enabled payment processing through BlackBaud Merchant Services.> Software Development