The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York is a branch of the Ramakrishna Order in India. They have had the same website since the early 90's, and decided it was finally time to give it a complete overhaul. The redesign is coded in pure HTML/CSS/JS and focuses on improving UI/UX and designing a super accessible, completely responsive website.
1: Update the aesthetic and brand of the website with an austere and meditative attitude, and focus on accessibility.
2: Redesign the navigation hierarchy and systems, making sure they are intuitive and comfortable to use at any screen size.
3: Design responsive and fully scalable layouts, accounting for mobile sizes, as well as large desktop screens that are simple to use and update.
4: Refresh the ecommerce layout with a mobile-friendly focus.
5: Develop metadata and include search engine optimization best practices.
The church’s website was originally designed in 1995, and was honestly a beautiful example of early web design (check out the original on the web archive). I knew I wanted to reflect the meditative and reverent attitude of the church, but this time taking a more minimal approach to really highlight their images and teachings.
I also paid special attention to increasing the website’s accessibility, since it is so important to make sure modern websites are as accessible as possible for a diverse body of users, including those with limited or no vision. This means making sure the site is fully responsive, text size is comfortable to read at all scales in a legible typeface, all images have descriptive alt texts, clear link identification, and the navigation is clear, intuitive, and link tab navigable.
Another aspect of making the site accessible is strengthening and unifying the church’s web presence and adding external tools. This includes adding audio files to SoundCloud, an embedded Google Map to direction pages, and clear links to their social media.
I also made sure to include specific and descriptive metadata for every page, to improve the site’s page rank. Stay tuned for analytics!