Behavioral Health Network, Inc. (BHN) is a regional provider of comprehensive behavioral health services for adults, children and families. BHN began as the Child Guidance Clinic in 1938 and has grown into the largest behavioral health service provider in Western Massachusetts.
BHN contracted Blackbaud for their Raiser's Edge donation software. They needed a website to go along with this and they had a lot of hopes and dreams for this new web presence. They spent their budget and then some on what they hoped would be a knock-out website. What they got however was far below their expectations. While the Raiser's Edge donation tools were very good they were disappointed because:
During my pitch to the committee at BHN, I presented them with a concept they could connect with. Considering they work in Mental Health I knew they'd be familiar with Maslow's Pyramid of Needs.
I knew this would be a way for me to connect with them and I laid out a concept using the same idea as that Maslow Pyramid which showed a hierarchy of website needs. I built upon the idea that each layer was a foundation and ladder to supporting the tier above it. For example; they'd become convinced they had to just mass hire tons of Customer Service employees but I took them through conceptual path where a user could find the information they need and reduce the volume in their call centers. They were salty about their past experience and rightfully so but they could immediately appreciate my approach here which really lifted the mood and got me the buy-in I was looking for.
BHN has tons of programs, tied to services which are related to locations. My team got to work on the wireframes to better understand their challenges inside and out. I directed the information architecture and tied that into a general frame of page hierarchy and some early design ideas.
The wireframe discovery process here really helped me breakthrough on this client. The committee had questions and this comprehensive approach answered their questions and restored their confidence.
The team for this project consisted of a business developer, graphic designer, operations director, developer, copywriter, and public relations expert. With the approved wireframes and the client's blessing we started to explore messaging, identity and brand:
Did I mention yet that they had a tight deadline because their contract was about to expire with Blackbaud? It was incredibly important that I nailed this reveal so they would not get stuck having to renew or worse, have no website at all with thousands of angry clients. All my homework had been done though, I was confident in the direction and foundations built. My team and I had carefully refined and honed everything into a stellar package of raster proofs for the design reveal.
The reveal featured style tiles of important components of the modular design. It showed these collective pieces making up full pages and sections and most importantly, it hit it off big with the committee and I got an applause at the end which really knocked my socks off. I could see that they were collectively relieved that I'd listened carefully to their challenges and I had their 100% buy-in now.
One single round of proofs was all it took because I'd really listened and built the strongest possible foundations.
I had full buy-in on the proofs and it was time to build this out with operations and development which was good because BHN's contract was literally weeks from running out. We spec'ed Concrete5 as the CMS to build this site on. It has some amazing built in relational database tools which would make much of the functional structure of this site work as I'd planned. It also has the best front-end editing tools of any CMS I've ever used for ease of use on their own self-management efforts post-launch. All these elements would be critical to saving us a lot of time in development.