Those of you who have used the previous versions of this website, will find that this new 4th Generation site - affectionately dubbed "4gen4" by our diligent webmaster Andrew Schmitt - is a major improvement in style and substance.
With the wonderful assistance from the Northfield Bank Foundation we were able to work on a look and feel that is modern and clean yet still features all the traditional stuff we have in our vaults. Our flat design and graphic style was championed by Mike from Stayvers.com. Mike helped us define the layout, color scheme and loads of design details - right down to event and program logos.For inspiration we looked at numerous popular and niche sites on the web. We spoke to some experts and relied on the skill of our webmaster - who started as a volunteer at Richmondtown in the Print Shop when he was 11 years old. We also were inspired by our own Staten Island Historian journal. Since 1938 this publication has been engaging readers with great stories about our history. The current issues, designed by Joann Goodfellow and edited by Claire Regan, are laid out in a very pleasing manner. We wanted to emulate that design sense online.
So in the end we were true to our Historic Richmond Town selves and didn't just hand off everything to an outside team - we worked with Mike, Andrew and others to develop a site that represents who we are and where we are going. It has become a truly hand-made site.
Some things of note:
- This entire website is totally responsive. This means the website design works with you, no matter what your screen size, keeping everything readable and in proportion - all the way down to mobile phone size. Try it. Grab the window border of this page and resize it.
- No matter what your device you get the same content. This site is what you might call its own app.
- Our color scheme is awesome. It's much lighter and more gentle than before. We believe it's creamy, soft and airy. It's easy on the eyes, fun to read and allows images and videos to pop.
- We shrunk from the old-fashioned garish hyperlink text styles. We embraced simple shading and tints. One rule: any text in burgundy means, "Go ahead, you can click me!"
- Our site layout is uniform and navigable with fonts that were hand-picked to be much easier to track on the screen.
- The information you want to access the most is very handy - accessible from every page via the menus and the nifty sidebar on the right.
- We know you love our events and programs so the upcoming happenings are now in featured boxes on the front page, in the sidebar, in the calendar and on our big list.
- Menus are more logical with info just click or two away.
- We are using a CMS or content management system - Joomla - that allows staff to add and update all the website info directly in real time. The content is made fresh daily and in our own content kitchen. It's not sent out to an outside company or consultant.
- We've added more visual materials with room to grow. You will see media being added on a regular basis.
- Our online collections database, museum shop are now integrated more fully into the site.
- Membership,donations, event ticketing are more robust.
- We are using the latest technologies so that we can grow with you.
Perhaps the most interesting part is that we have built this site so that the ongoing costs are minimal. We have expert volunteers who donate their time to keep us up and running. And we continue to train our staff to be responsive to the technology. This is important to note because as an efficient not-for-profit we like to spend our time and energy creating great programming not paying huge bills. Thank you Northfield Bank Foundation for making this possible!
Enjoy the new site. We take your feedback seriously so please drop us a line HERE if you have comments or suggestions. Thanks for being a supporter and follower of American history and Historic Richmond Town. I'll see you online.