In 2019, Special Olympics Michigan partnered with Rapid Development Group to develop a new web platform designed to meet the specific and unique needs of a statewide Special Olympics organization—both for site visitors and for site administrators.
When we first sat down with the CEO and communications director of Special Olympics Michigan, we weren't sure what to expect. We discovered that, operating as a grassroots organization, a few people with big hearts and a passion for their purpose were shouldering all the responsibility for keeping things running. Because of this, the project had multiple goals:
- Create an aesthetically pleasing, easy to understand website that followed Special Olympics brand standards and communicated relevant, useful, current information.
- Improve the administrative experience and shift the management responsibilities from creating and entering content to moderating content additions and edits made by other users.
- Implement design and structure using accessibility best practices, focusing on creating an inclusive experience for people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Special Olympics Michigan needed a responsive website that served their athlete, coach, volunteer, and donor audiences. The site design and experience needed to help users quickly and easily find the sports and programs offered in their local area and connect them to the right people to get involved. Above all, it needed to be an instrument to bring communities together with common goals and interests.
What We Did
To produce a product that would improve the experience on both sides, we took a deep dive and learned not only how the organization was structured, but how it was managed by its volunteers. We devised a way to manage programs, sports, and areas in a way that was easy to manage in one place, but dispersed information in multiple areas to give users the information they needed without having to click around to several places on the website. In this way we were able to improve both the site management experience and the end-user experience for Special Olympics Michigan.