Creating a new digital home for the global sustainable golf community
Scott Presly, Michael Salmon, Paulina Wasik, Agnès Préau, Liam Ryan
Marketing, Strategy, UX, Web Design, Web Development
Geo Foundation for Sustainable Golf is an international not-for-profit, founded sixteen years ago to help inspire, support, and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf's social and environmental value.
The organisation remains the only one in the world entirely dedicated to this mission. They work collaboratively with groups and people in and around golf to provide strategy, programmes and credible recognition. This encompasses golf courses, developments, tournaments and individuals who want to play their part in a brighter future for the game they love.
Sustainable.golf were driven to make sustainability simple - but their website was proving to be too complex.
At the time, the non-profit was managing two websites: one exclusive for members and the other an information-based public site. Without a user-friendly design and an overload of back-end data, they struggled to keep golf course owners and members of staff engaged throughout both sites.
Sustainable.golf wanted to simplify their processes by integrating the two websites into one. This would involve reorganising a mountain of data and finding more user-centric ways to display the organisation’s plethora of information.
The organisation also felt that both of their websites lacked a sense of community. They wanted to provide a space for people worldwide to share their sustainability journeys. Specifically, they wanted their international members to share how they kept their courses eco-friendly through specific case studies called ‘highlights’.
After the initial meeting with their team, we realised that a website refresh was the best way to create something Sustainable.golf would be proud of, all while attracting more course owners. So tda! began creating the new online hub for sustainable golf.
Our solution was to design and build a unified platform to become the home of the sustainable golf community worldwide; a place where the stories behind sustainable golf are brought to life in an engaging and inspiring way.
tda! spent weeks scoping and understanding how GEO Foundation’s users were interacting with the previous websites. By viewing user searches and journeys, we were able to uncover key pages and information that course owners were looking for. From there, we made new and more intuitive ways to get course owners the information they needed.
This led to our solution of creating a relational database, which ensured a connection between all parts of the new website. Whether someone was looking at the different golf clubs, highlights or viewing a certain location, everything was connected through a single database. The user could easily click on tags, the searchable map, relevant highlights and so forth to find the most relevant information to them.
The relational database was critical for importing the two existing websites into one. Both websites were at different stages of development, all with various amounts of data. To successfully merge the two, tda! established one large directory with information.
GEO Foundation had a reputation to uphold of being the online hub for the sustainable golf community. The new website designs and content layouts were specifically crafted by tda! to ensure that the organisation’s values of working together were at the centre.
We also shifted the website’s focus to the ‘highlights’ case studies. Here we placed a spotlight on course owners that positively impacted their local communities and environment. Through the site, owners had an opportunity to pass along their knowledge while discovering new sustainable practices.
Sustainability with no borders
To support GEO Foundation’s many international members, tda! had to figure out the best way to reach them.
We deduced from our research that most users would visit the “highlights” section to look for information about their own home country. So we decided to focus mainly on this section for implementing multiple languages.
When submitting a highlight, we included different dropdowns for the user to submit their highlight in an array of different languages.The highlights themselves would have alternative translation options, so the user would be able to view the page in their own mother language or English.
This unique hybrid of languages allowed for those viewing from their own country to see their home language as the default, ensuring that GEO could cater to its global audience.
On completion of the project, we have created a platform where the Foundation can support, recognise and celebrate the growing sustainable golf community around the world. Through the use of functionality and user interface, we invite interested parties to join discussions, to share best practice, and to help address some of the defining issues of our time.