Over the last few weeks, we’ve posted video on the site showcasing discussions with different people on how the NAACP can maintain its relevancy with the next generation. From President Benjamin Jealous to Color of Change Founder James Rucker it was agreed that new media must be implemented into their organization’s branding strategy. To that end, the NAACP has gone back to the drawing board and revised their new media strategy, starting with a site redesign.
If you’ve ever been to the current version of the NAACP website, you’ll find that while chock full of information, it’s often hard to find, hidden within page upon page. Another drawback was the lack of multimedia. After gaining momentum with its historical timeline website, the NAACP has improved upon this and much more. The redesign has been underway since January and is set to launch this Monday just in time for the National Convention in July. Black Web 2.0 got a sneak peak at the NAACP’s new digital face.
Upon arriving to the homepage, the user is greeted with the familiar blue and yellow color scheme that are the organizations colors. There is a large alert that rotates between pictures. Clicking on a photo takes you to a designated part of the site. The overall appearance is cleaner and less crowded that the old site. The pictures are large and vibrant encouraging users to take a closer look. As a membership-driven organization, it is vital that the ability to join or donate to the NAACP is as accessible as possible. To that end, there are three buttons on the right hand side of the large alert nestled in the Get Involved Block inviting visitors to join, donate, or find a local branch on the organization. The Get Involved Block is displayed prominently on all subsquent pages so the information is always a mouse click away.
Scrolling down on the homepage leads to six blocks that list the most current news for each department. Each block has enough space to live which doesn’t make the eye do unnecessary work. According to Curtis Johnson, Communication Associate for the NAACP, switching out articles, press releases, and blog posts on the back end of the site is very easy. A few clicks of a button and it’s done. Speaking of the back end, the site is running of an OS created by Blue State Digital.
Clicking on one of the tabs in the nav bar located above the rotating large alert, takes you deeper into the site. In the Advocacy tab, users can access news, information about the director of the department, as well as ongoing programs. The resources section is a little bland right now, featuring a list of links, but I was told that we can expect a richer experience as the site rolls out.
As far as interactivity and multimedia there could be more, the parts I saw left me wanting more in a good way. The historical timeline still exists and is a fun piece of edutainment. Another cool feature I was able to preview was an interactive map that displayed NAACP events when my mouse scrolled over the orange markers located on the map. For example, somewhere in Jersey this Saturday a local NAACP branch will be throwing a pancake breakfast. One feature that I’m really interested to see is an upcoming app that will allow NAACP to report police misconduct in their areas. I’m not sure if this will load into the map I saw or be integrated into another upcoming feature, but it’s an interesting premise.
Overall, the site redesign is a huge improvement over the old site. Be sure to check it out when it goes live this Monday.