Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance strengthens land conservation in the United States by connecting organizations around the country that work for urgent and permanent protection of cherished natural environments and resources. The Alliance provides training for land conservation professionals, defends the legal permanence of land protections, champions conservation-friendly public policy, and supports land trust research. Founded in 1982, the group's citizen-led conservation efforts have grown to include 1,700 member organizations with 1.5 million supporters, and have advanced a movement to conserve 37 million acres of land.
The Land Trust Alliance needed a better way to connect widely dispersed constituents and present material in a manner that visually represented the geographic significance of combined efforts. The organization is on the forefront of policy formation, and needed a more professional, relevant online branding to reflect its leadership. The navigation of the site was inconsistent and confusing. With a collection of over 1,000 static pages, site visitors were getting lost and having to call LTA staff to find content. The staff relied on the webmaster for the tedious task of updating the site and experienced increasing delays as the organization grew.
ifPeople started by designing a web strategy that supported the goals of the organization. We assembled a group of stakeholders who provided feedback throughout the process. Usability tests of the information architecture we created ensured its success. We developed a website that accommodated the information library, structured the data so that it could be easily found by members, policy makers, donors, and conservation specialists. We replaced the old collection of static pages with a sophisticated and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) called Plone. Page layout and content organization was designed to direct visitors to key information and places within the site using both text and images. The website also houses a unique interactive directory of land trusts around the country, integrated with Google Maps to allow users to search by region or state. The clean uncluttered home page is more dynamic and clearly promotes their image and branding.
ifPeople helped the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) establish itself as a leader and communicate more effectively. Critical to this success was developing information architecture to organize their vast content resources. This strategy also enabled LTA to create and maintain a professional brand on its website. LTA is saving money and time by eliminating the need for content updating to be done by a webmaster with proprietary software tools. By distributing communications responsibilities across program leaders, LTA increased the quality of content. Information is now more accurate and up to date. The intuitive design interface ifPeople created makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, resulting directly in a decrease in support phone calls related to the website. Clear branding and a simplified more organized interface has led to higher donation levels and broader awareness of their efforts to help organizations save the places people love.