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A Digital Home for Philadelphia’s Central Club 

December 5, 2013 —

Central Club PhiladelphiaMabel Wilson lived 81 of her 96 years in Philadelphia as an employee of the city’s Office of Economic Opportunity and was a driving force behind dozens of local community organizations supporting children and seniors. She founded Philadelphia’s nonprofit Central Club for Boys and Girls in 1946 to offer activity and event space for charity groups. Her son, the Rev. Stanley Wilson, continued Mabel’s work with the Central Club after her death in 2010 and recently sought the help of our Interactive Digital Media students in bringing his family’s legacy of charity to the Web. The students worked with Electronic Ink, an international business system design consultancy, and Professors Troy Finamore and Jervis Thompson.  

The Interactive Digital Media program holds a workshop class that takes students through the process of designing a website for a client. The pre-production includes researching the client’s work, defining the target audience, making a sitemap, wireframes, and creating the visual design. The team of Digital Media students working with the Central Club for Boys and Girls included project manager Chelsea Myers, content manager Brittany Gilbert, lead programmer Keith Miller, lead visual designer Alyxis Johnson and information designer Kathy Wu.

The Digital Media student team was tasked with proposing a well designed, practical website that the Central Club could easily maintain. To do this, they decided to build the site in WordPress and integrate Flickr to automatically pull in and organize photos. (Click here to see a preview)

“Determining Central Club’s target audience was just as important in influencing our design decisions. For this we came up with several profiles of people who may be using the site on a regular basis: students looking for service opportunities, individuals looking to donate, businesses looking to donate, and older or retired individuals looking to volunteer. Being a nonprofit, the Club has few resources to work with, so we determined that one of the main goals of the website would be to give the organization a digital presence that can help attract donors and helpers and provide up-to-date news for people currently or previously involved in the Club,” said Miller.

The Digital Media team built a sitemap from their research with the Central Club’s goals in mind. Once the team had finished all of the pre-production work, they put together a project brief and gave a presentation to Rev. Wilson and their  classmates. “Designers from Electronic Ink helped critique and give recommendations for our project,” says Miller. “The remaining time in our workshop class will be spent making any tweaks that need to be made, and building the site.” Miller is currently conducting user testing on the site. His team expects to complete the overall work by the final week of the fall term and launch the site shortly thereafter.

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