Website Redesign

Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery. His intention was for the institution to be home to exceptional individuals—men and women with imagination and extraordinary dedication capable of working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Carnegie approached nclud with the following goals: increase donations, mobile-first design, and onboarding millennials into the scientific world. Our team completely overhauled the existing website to clearly communicate their mission, expand the scientific department's reach, and humanize the entire experience with better photography and content.

Carnegie Website Redesign


We immediately recognized that as a nonprofit institution, Carnegie Science faced a common problem – talking to itself, and allowing internal concerns to overshadow the needs of the end users. This led to a lapse in communication to donors (and a resulting lapse in actual donations), as well as a lack of attention to the user experience.

Our three-pronged approach included strategy, design, and user experience. We would optimize the experience for science enthusiasts (including donors) – not only institutional scientists. We would generate excitement by focusing on specific projects and the people behind them. We would use beautiful imagery and interactivity to create wonder and discovery. And in every channel, we would highlight donation opportunities.

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Design & User Experience

Design had to be functional, intuitive, and responsive. To provide lateral pathways into the scientific areas, the nclud and Carnegie team agreed that the sidebar/right rail content would showcase one most recent science story for each scientific area. This contextual content would support moving users from the “Why Carnegie” page into the site content.

Then we looked closely at the donation call-to-action. Usability research indicates that the more clicks it takes to donate, the more chances there are that the interaction will become labor intensive and users will abandon pages. So we put giving front and center, making it simple and easy to donate with as few clicks as possible. When a user clicks on “Make a Donation” all relevant donation information will appear directly on that landing page. This prevents asking users to click two or three times complete the donation process.

Next, we set out to capture the eyes, hearts and minds of science enthusiasts by making science more approachable – through thoughtful visual design, the use of bold shapes and colors keyed to each scientific discipline, and leveraging unique imagery to convey the wonder of science.

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