HousingLink

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Project Overview

Going Small Makes a Big Impact

HousingLink is a nonprofit organization that wanted a new annual report design. Like many nonprofits, they wanted to highlight the great work and outcomes they do that make our community a better place to live. One challenge for many charitable organizations is the high design, printing, and mailing cost that comes with an annual report project. It is common to see nonprofit annual reports that are multiple pages, full-color, and mailed to hundreds, and many times thousands, of people. HousingLink decided to do something different. They wanted to increase the impact of their message by going smaller, and more concise. Indeed, less is more! That is when the forward-thinking nonprofit hired Mercury Creative Group to rethink and redesign the annual report. This collaborative effort (between HousingLink & our strategic design firm) resulted in a one page nonprofit annual report. You read that right. A one page nonprofit annual report. The entire new HousingLink annual report takes up both sides of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. This makes it much more affordable to print and mail. Even more important, it makes it even easier for the nonprofit’s supporters to read the annual report and see the organization’s impact. It now costs HousingLink thousands of dollars less to produce its annual report. That money saved now goes to the nonprofit’s mission, just where we all want it to go!
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Strategy first, design second. That is our mantra. The HousingLink nonprofit annual report shows how big of a difference that approach makes to our clients AND the community!

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Number of Searches Skyrockets After Redesign

HousingLink – An Award Winning Client!

HousingLink is a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis. Since 1997, they have helped low-to-moderate income renters find affordable rental housing in the Twin Cities. Before they contacted Mercury Creative Group, their website logged 45,000 searches each month for affordable housing from renters, and the nonprofit and social service organizations that help those who are most in need in our community.

However, HousingLink had a problem. Over 50% of the traffic to their website came from mobile devices, but their website was not mobile friendly! In addition to a new, responsively designed website, HousingLink wanted a refreshed look for its brand communications. The logo and messaging remained the same, but the nonprofit organization wanted and needed a visual face lift. They also wanted an affordable website redesign that was sensitive to their budget. That is where our responsive web design and development experts stepped in.

After an in-depth strategy session to determine the functionality needs, the ideal user experience and the end goal for that use, we began the creative next steps. First, we redesigned the housing search functionality of the website. It now features a slick user-interface that looks and works great on traditional computers and mobile devices. Second, we updated the color scheme of the responsive website. The site now features bright, yet calming colors, and has a playful feel. Finally, our graphic designers created new imagery for the website that gives it a modern fresh feel and timeless look.

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So how was this responsive website redesign received by HousingLink’s thousands of users? Well, the result couldn’t have turned out better. The new HousingLink website was recently honored with a prestigious industry award at the 2016 Minnesota Multi Housing Association MADACS Awards!

Since the website redesign, the number of searches has skyrocketed (from 45k/month to 69k/month). This fills vacancies faster. The layout is so much better and renters are more informed, leading to qualified traffic for landlords. Also, many have commented how great the website looks and how easy it is to find housing.

Congratulations HousingLink! We are thrilled to have contributed work that helped you win this award, but more importantly, benefits the community in such a meaningful way.