Horizon is proud to announce the launch of a new website for IMII (International Minerals Innovation Institute). Designed and built by Horizon, the new site builds upon the previous site iteration while taking advantage of the latest version of Horizon’s enterprise level Content Management System for a seamless mobile and desktop experience.
As with all sites, IMII’s website needs had evolved from when they first partnered with Horizon. Unlike the original version of the site, which was an existing design IMII had already developed that Horizon then adapted to work within their CMS, this new site would be built from the ground up entirely by Horizon, and would be able to take full advantage of Horizon’s CMS environment. Some key challenges were identified, paticularly with how information was delivered on the homepage:
- News & Events feed was now very active
- slideshow area had become somewhat stagnant
- Associates/partners logo display area had become unbalanced with the inclusion of additional designations
- existing template was only partially responsive, with minimal consideration for mobile user
- the CMS frontend editing system was growing a bit long in the tooth, and IMII was heavily involved in editing their own content
News & Events Feed
Whereas the original design featured a more traditional vertically stacked list of items, it was decided the new design would limit visible items to two per feed, with an easy to access link to the full archive listing for any site visitors wishing to dig deeper. One of the reasons for this was to limit the amount of scrolling users needed to do, but it also helped limit showing multiple outdated items on the homepage, giving the feeds more of an immediacy.
The slideshow had taken on a role very similar to a gallery, with only some slides containing captions, resulting in a heavy, somewhat disconnected experience. It was decided to reduce the number of slides, make sure all contained text (including a title and brief caption), and make the images taller to better show off their content while creating a nice visual anchor for the homepage.
While key to display, the previously occupied position of the 3rd vertical column of every page was too much, and also resulted in some items disappearing under the fold. Occupying the bottom of the content area in a horizontal layout allowed all areas to occupy the same hierarchical emphasis, while not distracting from the main page content.
Responsive and Mobile Design
Horizon’s approach to responsive design has always been to make sure users are getting as similar experience as possible on all devices at all possible resolutions. To achieve that, the site design was developed concurrently as a mobile and desktop version to see how content elements could be best balanced between the different layout adaptions.
Horizon had recently upgraded their frontend editing capabilities to feature a live, on-page frontend editor that would allow content editors to make edits quickly and easily. This feature, coupled with the already powerful backend admin interface, gave IMII maximum control over maintaining their content.