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America for Bulgaria Foundation: New Website

Melon developed the new site of America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) that features a completely different user interactions. It’s presentational in two languages and tells ABF’s story, news and activities about the supported projects. Organizations can directly apply for funding since the site is integrated with the grant management system and users can subscribe for ABF’s newsletter.

project type

Web

client

America for Bulgaria Foundation

engagement model

Time & Materials

release date

January 2017

technology

ASP.NET MVC, Umbraco, HTML/CSS, JavaScript/jQuery, Entity Framework, MS SQL, MailChimp, AWS, System Support, UX/UI

 

The Client

America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) was founded in 2008. It’s the largest foundation in Bulgaria and to date, has provided grants to over 350 partners. Each year it donates approximately $20 million in six key areas of interest: civil society and democratic institutions, education, arts and culture, cultural heritage and tourism, private sector development and economically disadvantaged. 

Melon started working with ABF in November 2015 when Tribal – a digitally centric advertising agency, approached us. They were commissioned to revamp the foundation’s identity. Tribal’s job was to rethink ABF’s visual language and online presence. They engaged Melon to develop ABF’s new website.

The Process

Shortly after we delivered Phase 1, based on the first mock-ups Tribal designed, ABF began an organizational and management restructuring along with an exploration into new organization identity elements. The new website was put on hold. After ABF’s new identity was completed, in 8 months or so, we re-started the development of the site and entered Phase 2.

The process was entirely agile with weekly interactions. Every Friday we would show demos to both Tribal and ABF then consider and implement their feedback. The beta version was ready in one and a half months and the live site was released on January 17, 2017.

Challenges

The most unnerving period was when both Melon and Tribal were on stand-by. Once the project was restarted and Melon was directly involved in the communication with the client, the work was smooth and uneventful. 

The three-part communication – between Melon, Tribal and ABF, on one hand was more demanding and complex than it would have been between only two parties. But when working with an agency, it is always better to be directly involved with the decision-maker. So, again, after the restart of the project, the process was painless and straightforward.

Results

The new site features a completely different look and feel, as well as user interactions. It’s a presentational site in two languages that tells ABF’s story, news and activities about the supported projects in the six key areas. Also, organizations can directly apply for funding since the site is integrated with the grant management system. Users can subscribe for ABF’s newsletter. One of the change requests was adding different landing pages for newsletter signup so the results of ABF’s outreach efforts can be tracked better.

Both Tribal and ABF said that they cherished Melon’s consultancy work. We not only developed a website from a list of requirements, but also participated in pinning down the specifications, offering our expert know-how. 

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One of the things that mattered the most to the client was the modern and appealing look and feel of the new site. Melon’s expertise, accumulated in developing a vast variety of websites was highly appreciated too.

For Melon, the project does not end here. Our system support team will maintain the site in Amazon Web Services and our developers and UX/UI team will dedicated a few hours per month to add new functionalities and projects like share buttons and an event calendar.

Melon’s work had become part of a bigger transformation for ABF than we expected. The launch of the site was part of not only their new identity strategy, but also of the organization’s move to further embrace new technologies with the help of the Melon team.