FLAGS OF VALOR
WHEN USABILITY MEETS EMOTION
We were invited to help honor those who have given their lives to defend our freedom as well as those who died in the 9/11 attacks. It was humbling. It was also unnerving.
We started with a deep breath and a conversation with the founder of America’s Heartland Remembers, Rick Randall. We looked through photography. We listened to stories. We could tell this was less an initiative and more a personal calling.
Finding inspiration was never a challenge. Figuring out where to start was the hard part.
So, we decided to start where we thought users would want to–with the photos. There was no shortage of powerful imagery from multiple sources. We sifted. We marked favorites. We found ourselves speechless on more than one occasion. Instinctively, we knew these had to be featured prominently throughout the website.
We utilized galleries and large images in nearly every section. We also cut together a textural video using clips from their documentary to display in the “hero” area of the homepage.
As part of the assignment, our team also developed a new identity for the 2021 event, complete with clean, versatile logo variations, color selections and typography. The site was designed to incorporate those elements as integral pieces of the experience.
A strict grid was followed for all page layouts, often emphasized with thin lines and measured spacing, evocative of military precision and ‘Old Glory’ herself. Refined details throughout the site allowed us to keep the event and its sense of reverence at the forefront.
We knew that visitors would vary widely, from young kids to grandparents, so we spent time simplifying the sitemap as much as possible. Intuitive navigation with clear indications for each path helped foster a user-friendly environment. We also knew that the majority of users would be engaging via their phones, so as we created, we kept readability and ease-of-navigation at the forefront.
Desktop users, however, do benefit from additional scroll animation features to further relay the tone of the event on a larger screen.
Lastly, one of the most important components of the project was the Flag Sponsorship donation form.
User experience is always paramount. But when it comes to interaction-heavy elements like filling out a form or processing a payment, the margin for error becomes razor thin.
We took extra care to implement a smooth, easy-to-use system where users can donate with just a few clicks without ever leaving the site. Payments are authenticated and secured off site by a third-party gateway, removing any privacy concerns and friction during the transaction process.
Beyond the gravity of the subject matter, we needed to deliver a robust, secure interface that was also flexible enough to handle new and evolving content.
Of course, we hope you’ll visit the site. But it will never fully live up to the actual event on Art Hill. Maybe we’ll see you there.