National Trust for Historic Preservation

Discover places that matter. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help people protect, revitalize and enjoy the places that matter to them — from sites like George Washington’s Mount Vernon home to that favorite historic bar around the corner. We worked with the Trust to reposition their brand and digital properties to reach a new generation of more casual preservation supporters, while still honoring the Trust’s 70 years of important preservation work.

  • Challenge

    Realign the Trust’s digital properties, brands, and technology to engage a broader audience and create a more unified presence.

  • Solution

    Define a strategy and roadmap for the Trust’s digital marketing and associated goals; build a new digital foundation that makes their mission accessible to users of all ages.

  • Results

    A new organizational rallying point that is designed to drive awareness, engagement, and acquisition, and can be scaled to support ongoing strategies and tactics. Users now view 9% more content during their visits.

How we did it.

  • An Underlying Digital Strategy

    We worked closely with the Trust to understand their goals, priorities, target audiences, and challenges, and to define a digital strategy for the next 3-5 years.

  • User-Centered Design

    For the new connecting with a less traditional audience was a priority. We incorporated vibrant colors, large images, and unique angled layouts that come together beautifully on both desktop and mobile screens.

  • Flexible Page Architecture

    Pages are built with a flexible system of components that can reflect the level of urgency and desired user actions for a given place or initiative.

  • Intuitive Content Management System (CMS)

    The SavingPlaces CMS uses a robust custom infrastructure that makes it easy for admins to publish a range of unique content types.

  • The Saving Places CMS had to strike a balance between structure and flexibility. The CMS itself is written in Ruby on Rails, which bakes domain modeling and structured data into its development conventions, but makes it difficult to introduce custom content. So, we used the JS library Colonel Kurtz, which makes it simple to compose beautiful, one-of-a-kind layouts, while still modeling the domain appropriately.

    Beyond Content Management
    Lawson Kurtz, Senior Developer
  • Using angles as a design feature in various contexts throughout the site posed an interesting front-end development challenge. Implementing angles on a range of page components, from full-width hero images to smaller promo blocks, each presented unique limitations and required unique solutions.

    Angled Edges with CSS Masks and Transforms
    Jeremy Frank, Senior Front-End Developer
  • Using advanced caching techniques, most pages load in less than 100 milliseconds. We also built an on-the-fly image processor that sizes responsive images to fit a wide range of screen sizes, cutting download time for users while maintaining image quality.