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Communities In Schools of Washington 2019 Redesign

At a glance

Seattle, WA
Launch Date:
September 23, 2019
  • Custom Infographics
  • Custom Website Design
  • Custom WordPress Features
  • Custom WordPress Theme
  • Design Refresh
  • Front-End Development
  • Information Architecture
  • Responsive Design
  • Training

Visit the Communities In Schools of Washington 2019 Redesign website home page on desktop home page on phone

After successfully designing their previous website, Communities In Schools of Washington returned to MRW Web Design for a total visual redesign and improvements to their editorial features.

While the previous site launched in 2013 was a major improvement over its predecessor, the design showed its age, the editing features limited editors in how they could feature their news and events, and the site generally no longer represented the organization as well as it could.

From the blog: See how the new user-focused home page converted a new donor for a CISWA affiliate.

Using WordPress’s “multisite network” feature, the organization’s state office and 13 affiliated organizations all use the same design and features. This is a major operations efficiency for each organization, but requires lots of up-front planning and communication to ensure the design supports every affiliate.


Screenshot of new home page
The old, more compact home page was very boxy, only offered one opportunity to feature an image of students, and generally featured news and events in a way that frustrated site owners.

The new home page both explains what each organization does more effectively and gives each site two prominent locations to feature news and upcoming events.

The large images, use of icons, data visualizations, and bold calls to action all align the site with current design trends.


Entire page screenshot of home page

Guided by the state office and a committee of staff from affiliate organizations, a highly strategic project reevaluated the old site and made recommendations for targeted improvements to the design and features. MRW Web Design supported this process, helping craft the questions and suggesting productive ways for stakeholders to provide feedback.

The general content structure of the site designed in 2013 had held up quite well, so the project was able to focus primarily on refreshing the visual design. Minor changes were made to some page names, the menu structure, and the ways certain types of content like Services were edited and displayed. Good planning in the past helped reduce the amount of work and cost of this project!

The final site is built using modern technologies and accessibility best practices, leveraging a highly customized WordPress admin and the new Block Editor to empower site editors to feature the work they do in the best light possible.

The "What We Do" page
The What We Do page featuring a new block quote design

In keeping with a strategic approach to the development of the site, there are already plans for improving the site over the six months following launch, and reevaluating pages on a case-by-case basis based on real-world user feedback.

Supporting editors, MRW Web Design revised existing documentation, created new documentation, and provided a series of 4 brief screencasts to introduce site editors to the new WordPress editing screen.

After well over a year of planning, designing, coding, and training, the new is ready to support the Communities In Schools of Washington network for years to come!

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