Each year, Yale University presents the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes to eight writers who receive an unrestricted grant of $165,000 to support their writing, independent of financial concerns. Established in 2013, the Windham-Campbell Prizes brand identity was created by premier design studio, Pentagram, who we worked with to build out a newly designed website to support the prestigious literary prize.
Complete Website Rebuild
In need of a full website redesign and build, our client tasked us with developing the front-end designs that were produced and provided by Pentagram. As part of this agenda, we were to connect the designs to a new, customized content management system to support the annual Windham-Campbell Prizes Festival which celebrates the honored writers. In order to offer versatility, the new content management system needed to offer a hybrid of structured data and content editor flexibility. Our strategy to meet that request involved planning a scripted content migration to Craft CMS.
A Fast and Flexible Site
The overall mission was to refresh the website to match the new branding that Pentagram designed for the Windham-Campbell Prizes. Our objective was to build a flexible site to meet our client’s unique festival needs and that enabled them to update their website with ease. Delivering excellent website performance and speed was a primary goal as well.
Content Migration and Customization
Because of its reputation as a flexible CMS, we migrated the existing Windham-Campbell Prizes site to Craft CMS. We completed a scripted content migration to include articles, videos, photos, and more. Our team also built a new interactive Festival calendar tailored to Windham-Campbell’s needs. In order to accomplish this, creating a content model was necessary. The content model scoped all of the fields and sections needed to ensure minimal data duplication while providing the requisite flexibility. We set up custom article tagging within the CMS as well to allow for the automation of relationships.
The Windham-Campbell Prizes Festival color palette changes annually, so our developers built a feature to customize the color of the website based on the festival color of the year. Our client can change the color in a single location within the Craft CMS and it is then applied globally to the website. Headings, links, and more can be re-colored with one swift move within the CMS. Collaborating with Pentagram throughout the design process was crucial to the success of the renewed website.
To improve the site’s performance, we enhanced the caching of the site, optimized all uploaded images, loading only the necessary assets per page, and anticipated user behavior by preloading the next intended target.
An Elevated Experience
The new content module mappings created by our team allow our client to update their website, including the Festival calendar, with ease. They’re no longer concerned with overlooking color updates throughout the Windham-Campbell Prizes site, as they can globally update the Festival color on the website in one single location. As a result of our emphasis on improving website performance, the average page load is 1.49 seconds determined from ~8,000 real data samples. The site also received a 99/100 on Google Page Speed Insights. Additionally, site visitors can now browse the new video section to watch talks, lectures, readings, and more from past festivals. The new Windham-Campbell Prizes site reflects the essence of the literary tradition while concurrently supporting its progression.