NY Restoration Project

Designing a Mission-Driven Digital Experience

The New York Restoration Project’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers, but their website wasn’t effectively telling their story or reaching their audience. Creating a digital experience that conveys the not-for-profit’s impact on all boroughs of NYC was vital to our engagement. We designed a vehicle for digital engagement—increasing access for multiple audiences, building relationships through narrative, and offering meaningful conversion opportunities. We also wrote NYRP’s new tagline, “Making NYC stronger one tree at a time” and we continue to provide digital support.

Digging Deep

Our ethnographic research process was driven by the belief that more awareness meant more engagement, membership, and donations. Our User Experience team conducted over 30 on-site, in-depth interviews with NYRP’s gardeners, staff, donors, and community members, observing interactions and correlating data. We surveyed 1,415 donors and community members, and uncovered their rich experiences of NYRP. We discovered how the organization provided safety and belongingin the community, improving lives in many profound ways.

Based on shorter interviews with dozens of people in and around the gardens, we discovered that while they generally associated the gardens with feelings of safety and community, many could not articulate what NYRP means, does, or stands for. Our website redesign would need to address the entire spectrum of people affected by NYRP, more fully showcase the community gardens, and create an emotionally compelling, visitor-focused experience to tell their story. Our Discovery process created the foundation for our design concept, narrative, and tagline.

Putting Down Roots

NYRP’s previous website, like many non-profit sites, was a confusing maze of sections and sub-sections structured to reflect organizational divisions instead of user needs. The new interface simplifies their content architecture with a user-centered model structured around personas and user stories. We layered on a location-based navigation structure by tagging content to each of the community spaces to create a rich, informative, and functional experience.

Our CMS, a customized implementation of ExpressionEngine, allows the small NYRP PR and marketing team to manage and update content, track thousands of trees giveaways, manage city-wide events, and build custom donation and event pages.

Features, Narrative & A New Design

Our new design features an interactive map with every tree, garden, park, and community project tagged to location for a robust presence. All 56 locations become their own destination with unique events, history, and social media. The site also has CSS3 animation navigation, full-bleed parallax images of every garden, and flexibly integrated e-commerce for donations and ticket purchases. The site is fully localized in Spanish to better serve the diverse and growing NYRP community.

FOUR32C: New York City design firms. We’re curious digital natives who bring creativity and intelligence to the world’s most beloved brands. We create thoughtful, compelling interactive experiences by starting every project with questions. Our process leads to evocative digital products designed with a purpose for every pixel.