Soapbox Site Launch: The Smart Campaign

Picture 1Earlier in March, PICnet launched a new site for ACCION and their new program called “The Smart Campaign.” They needed a simple site that would be eventually be available in Russian, Spanish, French, and Arabic.  The site also needed to host ACCION’s toolkit of resources, available in all languages.  Users will be able to find valuable information that serve as guides and best practices to those looking to participate in micro-finance.

What I like best on this site is the humanistic feel the homepage design presents. Lisa Mattei-McDonald, my client contact at BI, was introduced into this project midway.  After her predecessor left, Lisa did an extraordinary job catching up quickly to all things web related.  I applaud her success at keeping the project cool and calm even during her own discovery of her role and the unforeseen requirements that the project took on.

It was a full blown effort with four vendors involved! Boston Interactive hired PICnet to implement their design.  Strategy and communications firm  M+R was also involved.  And Democracy in Action came in at the very end to help The Smart Campaign’s constituents active on the site.

Kelley Mesa, the point of contact at The Smart Campaign, had to make heads from tails when wrangling all this information together. You had one party yelling “communication strategy!” another party yelling “design aesthetics!,” and then me yelling: “usability and viability!”  We all have the client’s best interests in mind, and Kelley did a great job managing the priorities among the competing interests.

Since the site was to be accessible to all levels of technology, all of our flashy visual effects had to be implemented in javascript. One can see this on the home page in the Meet the Endorsers module. Our designer, Ryan, implemented this jQuery tool at the beset of Internet Explorer.  And Kelley put on her xml coding gloves to present the campaign’s many organizational endorsers.

Visitors will also see that the template is full of variety with some landing pages being made up of only modules.  Here, there is actually no content on the article of the menu item, but Ryan, our designer, did some magic to provide some conditional logic where some menu items call for a certain layout.  That is how we accomplish the header and two column layout. That guy can really work some CSS magic, I tell you.

The Smart Campaign also began their foray into the world of Democracy in Action. Because this site is emblematic of a “campaign” there are lots of ways to get involved, and I encourage you all to endorse!  The homepage form is both an email sign up and allows you to endorse the campaign on the general list.

While the project isn’t completely built out yet, we were able to launch the site in time for the release of this quarter’s newsletter.  Kelley did a fabulous solo job on getting the site completely up.

About The Smart Campaign The Smart Campaign is a global effort to unite microfinance leaders around a common goal: to keep clients as the driving force of the industry.

Protecting clients is not only the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. When microfinance institutions implement the Campaign’s Client Protection Principles into their operations, they build strong, lasting relationships with clients, increase client retention, and reduce financial risk. Similarly, by incorporating client protection principles into their investment criteria and due diligence, microfinance investors can build a healthier, more client?focused industry that will foster a stronger portfolio and ensure healthy returns.

To help the microfinance industry remain both socially focused and financially sound, The Smart Campaign is working with microfinance leaders from around the world to provide microfinance institutions with the tools and resources they need to deliver transparent, respectful, and prudent financial services to all clients. By putting clients first and collaborating together, we can strengthen the microfinance industry and elevate it as a model of responsible banking around the world.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 8:07 am and is filed under design, development, DIA, Javascript, Non-Profit Soapbox, project management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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