POYLatam: Website Redesign
POYLatam is a photography competition for photographers based in Latin America. It is a volunteer-run organization operated by a ragtag group of people passionate about the power of photography.
I was approached to redesign their existing web presence for the next (2017) competition. Requirements included, among others: Creation of an archive of previous winners, galleries of the current competition's winners, ability to showcase award-winning work as they were announced and give potential donors information about the competition.
Process & Thinking
Content analysis and inventory: Kim, the developer for the redesign and my primary contact, worked closely together from the beginning. We spent a lot of time going over the existing POYLatam web presence and hashed out what content would remain and what needed to be developed. This gave us a possible list of functionality and interactions we would need to incorporate into the design. We needed to be sure the website addressed the business needs of POYLatam and what visitors would want through the competition cycle.
Site Structure and Sitemaps: Sketching and sitemaps were critical to getting a solid understanding of the different content types and content relationships. I had to create more than one to wrap my head around the depth of the awards and how a visitor might interact — linear or exploratory. The site would also evolve when the competition was live. How would the structure evolve and accommodate announcements and a live video stream?
Competitive Review: Kim and I shared many photography competition websites we felt were direct or indirect competitors to POYLatam. There are numerous photography competitions but POYLatam has built a reputation as a professional photojournalism competition. We decided that POYLatam.org should be on par with the visual sophistication of the most prestigious photojournalism competitions but tailored to our resources.
Production: We skipped wireframes and dove straight into high-fidelity mockups using Sketch. Our timeline to launch was tight and as volunteers, we had many commitments. We are a remote team — Ecuador, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Turkey, etc., — so Dropbox and Slack were vital tools for communication, tasks, delivery of content, QA, and launch.
For the 2017 competition, Facebook Live played a major role in allowing people from around the world to tune-in and engage while judging occurred in real-time. Leading up to the competition, Twitter and Mailchimp were also used to encourage photographers to enter, raise awareness of the competition, the photography, and communicate the latest news.
Moving forward, Kim and I will continue to finesse and optimize the website. The website is still a work in progress and as volunteers, I'm proud of what we created in a short about of time. POYLatam has a strong foundation for its online presence and I am looking forward to implementing improvements for the next iteration.