Center for American Entrepreneurship
Though CAE provides groundbreaking research and advocacy for America’s startup community, the CAE brand and visual identity did not align with its innovative and creative efforts.
LGND’s existing partnership with CAE — across print and digital storytelling — helped evolve the CAE brand and visualization of its research. To maximize the impact of their work, CAE asked LGND to modernize their branding, design, and technology to develop an entirely new public-facing persona.
After a content audit of the existing CAE site, LGND provided strategic recommendations for revisions and reorganization. Working closely with the CAE team, LGND developed project objectives and stakeholders in order to understand how site visitors could best benefit from a digital experience.
Stakeholder interviews with CAE’s board, staff, and the policy community provided insights into the limitations of the current site and creative approaches to highlighting its research and advocacy efforts. After completion of initial research, every page was reviewed in order to restructure content, remove redundancies, and streamline user pathways. Virtually every page was rewritten from the ground up in collaboration with the CAE team.
The next phase focused on modernizing the site’s design and branding. We iterated with CAE’s team through moodboards, wireframes, and ultimately a full site design. Building on previous collaborations between LGND and CAE, the new site was built off the latest design systems to seamlessly incorporate photography and illustration. This process pushed the CAE brand in a new direction, including colors, fonts, and a new CAE logo. This culminated in not only cutting-edge design, but a true digital publishing platform for CAE’s blogs, research, events, and advocacy.
We rely on having a flexible but tested process to ensure project success. During our discovery phase, LGND created an action plan to best highlight CAE’s content and advocacy efforts via a new website. We held working sessions and stakeholder interviews to discuss goals and plan out the project. We led discussions and debates to find the heart of CAE’s problems and how we can solve them together.
Iteration is the magic that drives our successful projects at LGND. Our team went back to the lab and worked on deliverables for the team’s feedback. Moodboards, wireframes, and content planning documents flew back and forth over Slack and Zoom calls to zero in on solutions. Iterating with stakeholders and gathering feedback keeps us moving forward towards a common goal.
Collaboration is a key part of our process. We worked with our internal team, then presented our visual ideas for feedback from client stakeholders. Our goal is always to create a breathtaking, beautiful website, but our primary focus is to make our new websites far more usable and accessible for the most important audiences.
Creating an open and accessible website starts with design, but is executed in development. Through clean and semantic code, we developed a fully responsive and accessible experience for both users and the client. The website back-end is intuitive for developers and non-developers alike, ensuring updates and additions are easy. The site experience is flush with animations and other progressive enhancements, which function across all major browsers and devices.
The new site served as the central element of a new marketing campaign for CAE, promoting the organization to media, policymakers, and potential donors. Since launch, the site has seen a 27 percent year-over-year increase in time-on-site and more than 12,000 new visitors.
"We needed a way to communicate effectively and compellingly with our differing audiences – entrepreneurs, policymakers, the media, and academics. LGND took on that challenging task and delivered a gorgeous, intuitive, and splendidly integrated platform that now enables us not only to post our material, but to tell a seamless story of our research, policy, and advocacy efforts. We couldn’t be happier with the finished product."
- John Dearie, Founder and President