New Website for STEPS Centre Institute of Development Studies

Share Your Thoughts

I don’t add portfolio websites as often as I perhaps should. But here’s a site I’m particularly pleased with – the new website for the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University – STEPS Centre.

The reason I’m adding this site to the blog, is because it is a site that has taken a few months to design, develop and get online.

STEPS Centre

I worked closely with Nathan Oxley (Communications and Impact Manager) & Suzanne Fisher-Murray (Communications and Engagement Officer) during this time, from taking the initial brief and analysing the previous website. They wanted to make the website more engaging as so much of it is very text-based and made up of journal articles and publications.

There was also a network of global sites that were integrated. This international hub of sites, includes locations as diverse as South America, Africa, Asia and China. These were initially going to be set up on a separate WordPress multisite installation, with the various domains mapped, but a late change of tactic meant they needed to be designed as single page sites within the main STEPS website. 

Across the site, there are multiple templates and a series of custom loops that display content from various categories. This was a central part of the new website as there was no existing system of categorising and tagging content.

Strong colours were used to assist with the user experience, as indicators to the various site sections, from the navigation to on-page content blocks. Naturally, the site is responsive and this includes an interactive map, based on the geographically-accurate Peters Map designs

The site was built with multiple authors and administrators in mind. This meant that I supplied supporting Help files, within the CMS. These annotated guides make it easy for admins to update their own content and get assistance with the site from untrained staff.

The STEPS Centre are pleased with the new site, which as a designer, is a very satisfying feeling. Here’s an article they posted on their blog, which will also take you straight to the new STEPS Centre website.

If you are looking for help with your own website, get in touch and let me know what you need.

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