Our Work

Greater Good Magazine

Overview

Client Since
May 2010

For nearly a decade, the Greater Good Science Center and its magazine have been at the cutting edge of the science of compassion, happiness, and altruism—the science of a meaningful life.

In 2016, the Greater Good team embarked on an extensive redesign project that separated the magazine and GG Science Center websites, added support for disabled visitors, and expanded tool and content offerings. (You can read more about the redesign of the Greater Good Science Center’s site here.)

Services Provided

The old Greater Good website housed both the magazine and the center websites, so our first task was to revise the site architecture in order to break the two entities into two different sites. It was crucial to accomplish this without losing any of the important connections between content that plays a role in both places. Most magazine websites have a very complex architecture; the Greater Good Magazine is no exception. Users of the new magazine site will find connections between related pieces of content easy to follow through the site, with content organized thematically (Altruism, Forgiveness), by type (Quizzes, Podcasts), and by author. But the larger change to the site is its focus on the user experience.

Visitors can register using an email address, or by using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Once registered, all members can take advantage of one of the site’s most useful features: bookmarking. Everything a user bookmarks can be easily accessed later from the account page, which automatically sorts the bookmarked content by type and date. No more trying to think up search terms that might have been used in that interesting article you read three months ago! Mobile and tablets users will find that both the magazine and GGSC sites behave gracefully and look great, and will lose none of the functionality available to desktop users. Both sites are now responsive. The home page is especially attractive and fun to use on a smartphone.

Accessibility became a major factor late in the project development, when UC Berkeley (home to the GGSC) announced an institution-wide push to make all their web content adhere to the WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Standards. Everyone working on the project, ourselves included, quickly learned a great deal about the methods and technique necessary to produce a site that supports disabled visitors. Those who use screen readers to access the web will appreciate the site’s skip navigation feature that makes jumping to the navigation, or the main content of the page, a single keystroke instead of many. The site’s color palette has been optimized for color blindness and vision-impaired visitors issues. At the code level, WAI-ARIA and semantic markup provide programmatic tools to ease site navigation and reading of content.

Greater Good worked with Project6 Design, a San Francisco-based graphic design firm to create the site’s spacious and of-the-moment design.

The final result is a site that is as beautiful to look at as it is to use. We’d call that a greater good indeed!

Testimonial

We have worked with Hop Studios for nearly a decade, and during that time we've seen our web traffic grow exponentially. We attribute much of that growth to our collaboration with Hop. Travis Smith and his team are knowledgable, efficient, and always a pleasure to work with. We don't see them as contractors; they are true collaborators, always willing to roll up their sleeves and help us tackle the new web challenges that have accompanied the growth of our organization and its ambitions. We value them not only for their creativity and technical ingenuity but also for their thought partnership and the commitment they've shown to our mission. They don't only want to design and build quality websites; they want to understand our organizational needs, and help us figure out the best digital strategy to meet those needs.

That's why we have continued to work with Hop for all these years, enlisting their services not only on our original Greater Good Magazine website but also on a series of additional sites. And it's why we plan to keep working with them for years to come.

Jason Marsh
Editor in Chief and Director of Programs
Greater Good Science Center
University of California, Berkeley

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