Miller Center’s 2024 Journey Towards a User-Centric Website


2024 has been a year of huge change for Miller Center. Not only have we doubled down on our ecosystem engagement by traveling and conferencing more, but we’re also looking at how our constituents can better engage with Miller Center through re-envisioned programs, deeper relationships, and better representation. Representation not only in the sense of inclusion (that is a story for another blog) but in how they find themselves represented on our website. This was a key driving factor of ours as we embarked on the rebuild.

It’s been nearly five years since we last took on the major work of rebuilding a website. Rebuilding a site isn’t just about giving the pages a new look and feel, but also revisiting the content that often builds up over time, updating photos that become outdated, and challenging outdated language. 

Our last build was summarized by: “We wanted to make the new website faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. Our goal with this is to provide our visitors with an easier way to learn about our mission and work while amplifying how we help end poverty and protect the planet. We hope you like it.”

Let’s break down this phrase: “Our goal with this is to provide our visitors with an easier way to learn about our mission and work while amplifying how we help end poverty and protect the planet.” Looking back, it’s apparent we were too focused on the work that Miller Center was doing, having users navigate content that mimicked our organizational structure. Suffice it to say, this made for a complex website. Now we’ve taken the opposite approach, by enabling users to easily identify themselves and see how they can benefit from our programs. AND how they make up an important piece of the Miller Center tapestry. They’ll quickly be taken to curated content that relates to their journey and learn how Miller Center can support them. Rest assured, our proven program methodology remains steadfast; we’re simply unveiling it in a fresh, engaging manner for our visitors!

How did we get to this point?

  • Advisory Board and Council meetings: We met with our Advisory Board and Social Enterprise Advisory Council to explore the various needs and perspectives of what a website requires to succeed in our ecosystem. This resulted in a key feature of the site, what we call the “Profile Switcher.” This function dynamically changes the content on the homepage to reflect the identity of the chosen profile with curated content.
  • Card sorting and treejack testing: To revisit the content on the site, we had to take a closer look at everything housed on our old server, and let me tell you, it was a lot of content. In order to consolidate things, we used Optimal Workshop to conduct categorization exercises of our content into relatable categories. The result was a more intuitive navigation structure.
  • Developer meetings and staff buy-in: Early on, our team was involved with concept development and functionality requests. This allowed for some great feedback and input from various programs to ensure we were hitting all the marks and covering all our bases.

By the end of the process, we had consolidated our content, made the site more scannable, and curated it for each stakeholder! Take a look and let us know what you think!

P.S. A huge shoutout to Karen Carter, Director of Marketing Communications, for spearheading the success of this whole project. We couldn’t have done it without her expertise!