Kanuga is excited to announce the complete transformation of Kanuga.org. As autumn brings changes to trees, temperature and wardrobe in our Appalachian mountain valley, we are embracing this transition and turning over a new leaf.
The Marketing & Communications team began discussing concept design and structure with Atlas Branding in December 2015. Jason Merritt, former director, consulted with Lisa Peteet, creative director of the Asheville branding agency and her team.
“Our previous website catered to guests who were already very familiar with Kanuga. It wasn’t easy for newcomers to navigate, especially on mobile devices. We wanted to make the new Kanuga.org more user-friendly by reorganizing the structure of the site, which would lead to greater accessibility and visibility for all of our programs,” says Visual Communications Specialist Sara Christensen. Christensen also designed iconic graphics that Atlas animated to give additional character to the new website.
Current Director of Marketing & Communications Leslie Hartley managed communications for the project, creating the copy for the initial sample pages, including the homepage. Outlines for the structure and mock-ups of the fresh new look went back and forth between Kanuga and Atlas up until March, when Christensen pieced together the department’s favorite ideas to complete the new look.
Why the rebrand?
Goals for the new website included:
- modernizing the look and feel of the digital space with engaging photography taking precedent
- going tablet- and mobile-friendly
- making the navigation more intuitive
- converting from static to responsive pages, allowing for more interaction
- streamlining information on Kanuga’s varied programming in a clean, concise manner
- adding a search function to aid in browsing
- featuring testimonials to share the Kanuga experience
Bringing the brand-new site to life
During the spring, Atlas Branding worked with Director of IT at Kanuga Jason Sampler on the development of the new Kanuga.org, delivering the content management controls to the Marketing & Communications department in May.
Marketing & Communications Specialist Lorna Festa joined the team in June. “My first project at Kanuga was reworking and writing copy for the overhauled site. It was a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of a diverse place like Kanuga. The new You May Also Like feature familiarizes visitors with areas of Kanuga they may potentially be unaware of, and the Happenings feature allows us to keep users updated with the most current information and events,” says Festa.
After working diligently through the summer months—selecting and resizing hundreds of images and documents, populating the website and testing links—Hartley, Christensen and Festa put the finishing touches on the new website.
Launching the all-new Kanuga.org
Once the collective efforts were complete, from development and design to copy and formatting, it was finally time to share the new creation with the digital world. The website officially launched early October 2016.
“I am honored to work with such a dedicated, talented team to bring this new website to life,” says Director Leslie Hartley. “Our goal throughout the process has been to provide the Kanuga community with an easy-to-use, attractive way to discover what’s happening at Kanuga. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled.”
Heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who helped make the website relaunch a huge success. We hope you enjoy the new Kanuga.org, and please contact Marketing & Communications with any feedback you may have.