The World Wide Web Consortium
Founded by the inventor of the World Wide Web, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a stated commitment of “leading the web to its full potential.” To that end, they’ve created most of the technologies that power the online industry and enable Happy Cog to connect with its clients. As the W3C has shepherded the web along for years, Happy Cog was humbled and excited to be asked to work on their redesign.
Equal parts Library of Congress and knowledgebase, the W3C’s website is many things to many audiences. Browser vendors and technologists may seek information on the latest technical specification; web designers and educators might focus on the many resources provided on the site, or perhaps look for ways to get involved in the W3C. Over the years, the various pathways through the site had been laid organically, and the W3C felt the site’s usability had deteriorated. (We agreed.) The W3C asked Happy Cog to research its audiences and make recommendations on how to improve their experience.
And so we did. By distilling down the users’ needs in a few key, universally requested areas, we suggested a site architecture that would not only house the current site’s content, but also grow alongside it.
From there, the design emphasized the highly content-centric nature of the W3C’s work. With only a few subtle ornaments to soften the page, the typography-driven design placed a great deal of weight on a tasteful, legible experience for the site’s users. On the more content-heavy pages, special care was taken that the design would not overload the user, and make the reading experience as pleasant as possible.
Furthermore, this was one of the internet’s first fluid grids, marrying the complexity of a grid-based design to the W3C’s stated preference for non-fixed layouts. For an organization that’s given so much to the web, Happy Cog was glad to give a little bit back to them.