Developing World-Changing Digital Communications through Data and Analysis

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

How might a foundation formulate a more strategic direction and comprehensive plan for developing effective digital communications?

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is one of the most well-known and largest independent global foundations. When the time came to begin rethinking their future digital ecosystem, they chose LimeRed for a flexible, creative, and thoughtful approach to their future.

Design Strategy

A key component of our work with MacArthur was assessing their existing digital landscape and creating a roadmap to redesign and develop their website and other digital assets. We initiated this large undertaking with a systems approach. Rather than focusing solely on their website, we offered guidance and insight on aligning the Foundation’s organizational, online, and IT strategies. We also created spaces for internal teams to learn from previous tech and design experiences and identified opportunities for innovation and scalability. The roadmap we created as a final product provided a detailed plan for implementing a data- and accessibility-driven website redesign, re-imagined design purpose and principles, and strategies for building a Foundation focused on their brand and mission to engage with new audiences.

Digital Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

The MacArthur Foundation seeks to continually improve itself when it comes to implementing its digital strategy. One of its most significant challenges was making data collection and analysis informative and meaningful to its diverse programs and staff worldwide. LimeRed provided a framework for measuring change, an adaptive work plan for collecting intelligence, designed a series of visual report templates, and developed stories that gave practical insight into the data to help the staff understand how it impacts their work.

Data Visualization Design

Data and insights drive the Foundation. MacArthur understands the power of data visualization to make information accessible, engaging, and insightful. Our work scope included a series of design reviews of their current website data visualizations to discover opportunities to improve user experience and establish an information architecture for their data. We engaged with program staff to better understand what they wanted to communicate about their work and created space to empathize with site users to meet their needs and expectations. Our work included concepts for rethinking the data visualizations and the user experience in the context of their needs and then building that concept.