Let the Music Do the Talking: Barthelmes Conservatory Website Redesign
Barthelmes Conservatory (BC) was founded in 2001 and provides music education for the larger Tulsa community. Serious music students participate in a vigorous and elite training program, preparing them for their pursuit of a career in the music field. BC strongly believes that music and all other art disciplines provide children with different and alternative ways to develop skills, process information, and express and organize their own knowledge.
BC partnered with Matcha Design for the redesign of their website in late 2011. The nonprofit has a rich history of excellence in teaching methods and student growth, and they needed their website to reflect the personality of its students, teachers, and supporters.
- Category: Nonprofit Organization
- Project Launch Date: January 2012
- Development Length: 6-8 weeks
- Download the Full Case Study (PDF) document, and view the Project’s Portfolio.
“The creative cooperation and the ability to take an idea and turn it into life was my favorite part about working with Matcha. Their ability to create a genius pallet to work from, paint new life into our web presence, and come in on budget were additional bonuses! In terms of fundraising, the website gave us creditability and a brand. We were able to direct people to our site and since we were proud of the design and content, it gave us confidence to make an online ‘ask’.” - Candice Chinsethagid, Director of Operations
- Communicate the mission of BC, recruit new students, and support fundraising efforts.
- Give the website a more relevant look and feel.
- Highlight the music center, music school, and outreach programs.
- User-friendly navigation and organize content for better flow.
- Develop features to keep audience informed about resources and upcoming events.
- Need a website that is cross-platform compatible with mobile and tablet technology.
- Implement a content management system staff can use to easily manage website content.
- Assist in finding the necessary registration to make website compliant with security rules, regulations, and laws based on Best Practice standards.
- Portray a more professional look with in-site donations, branded emails and other features.
Challenges and Solutions:
The main challenge was to organize and present the website so it engaged the audience BC was trying to capture. In this case, the audience included students, students' parents/guardians, and community supporters. This site redesign was extensive, but for the purpose of this case study we are going to focus on the two main ways we addressed these challenges: brand development and custom video storytelling.
The BC Brand Development...
The only brand element BC could provide was a logo. They did not have a consistent color scheme to represent its brand, and the old site reflected this gap in their brand story. We used the logo to develop a vibrant theme that mirrored the students' diverse and gifted talents. The colors, fonts, and custom buttons are all built around this consistent look and feel. We used eye-catching colors to replace the plain background, vivid orange headers in the text and images to draw attention, and pulled the color scheme through every custom designed element. This strategy establishes the visual surety of BC's brand and mission.
"The redesign improved our web presence in a number of ways," said Candice Chinsethagid, Director of Operations at Barthelmes Conservatory. "First, it brought us into a modern existence. Second, it gave us a reason to direct visitors to our site. Lastly, it gave us a sense of pride via ownership and organization of materials."
Custom Video Storytelling...
The custom produced videos really amplified their website's value. We studied the organization's mission and tied the subjects of the videos to it's main goals: "Why do I like being a student at BC?" and "Why do I support music education?"
"We worked with BC to identify the best video candidates and coached them to help them feel comfortable in front of the camera," said Chris Lo, President and CEO of Matcha Design. "The videos were live and on location at BC, to produce a more realistic feel as apposed to an in-studio, scripted project."
After all the prep and filming work was completed we skillfully trimmed the clips so the final videos were tight and seamless. Videos last about 1-3 minutes; plenty of time to showcase BC, but not to the point people loose interest.
Ultimately, the website design communicates the BC mission through text and video; giving the site a more well-rounded approach.
The old site had a lot of information but it was hard to find. We simplified it with a drop down navigation, a search bar, and an extended footer design. Brightly colored buttons were designed for social media, frequently asked questions, newsletter signup, and online donations; all of which streamlined their online communications.
Identifying BC's Needs...
Matching the right technology solutions with a client’s needs always requires extended conversation, and changes as the projects develops. We helped BC with branded email addresses, website security certificates, online donation options, SEO and analytics, CMS training, and many other needs. Developing online registration capabilities for their program was discussed, in hopes of making registration seamless, but BC has a very unique and personal interview process to recruit students. So, although online registration was a good idea, it did not fit their needs. This is a prime example of connecting the client with the right level of technology, while aligning with their organization’s personality.
- Identity Branding
- Website Design
- Website Development
- Custom Photography and Editing
- Custom Video Production and Editing
- Online Communications Strategy
- Content Management System and training
- Branded Email Addresses
About Matcha Design
Matcha Design is a full-service creative agency specializing in web design, print, identity, branding, interface design, video production, still photography and motion design. With a passion for excellence and a multi-cultural background, our award-winning practices prove our philosophy; our clients aren’t numbers, they’re relationships. For more information, visit www.MatchaDesign.com.