AHScommunity.org is a community platform for Alexander Hamilton Scholars (AHS) powered by Graduway. My team and I built and launched this platform in under four months. My role with AHS Community (AHSC) was threefold: 1) Collaborate with a Graduway developer to build structure of website and refine user experience through basic coding, 2) Design all internal and external graphics and copy, and 3) Plan and construct marketing materials and strategy for initial launch and drive long term engagement.
Our Graduway developer created the basic skeleton for us, and I made sitewide adjustments and changes through *very basic* Python coding using .csv files. I attended several lectures and did much research on User Experience Design to more intuitively lay out the website.
Through this project, I was able to grow my skills in UX design and basic coding while experimenting with new competitions to drive engagement on the platform.
To create the logo for AHSC, I wanted to emphasize the community aspect of the platform. I accomplished this with the yellow-orange flame derived from the standard Alexander Hamilton Scholars logo stacked atop "AHS COMMUNITY" in Futura, which differs from the traditional AHS logo. My hope was for AHSC to appeal to the youth we serve and convey a sense of open communication.
We relied on beta testing from our 18-member Alumni Board during a two-week period. We used Google Forms during the first week of the soft launch to collect feedback, implement changes, and relaunch with updates, then repeated the process for our second round of beta testing before our hard launch.
For the two-week launch period, I created a content calendar on Notion and enlisted the help of my coworkers to create individualized content to share daily on the platform, driving engagement with our community members. During the first week of our launch period, 90 members created an account, representing over 20% of our total current and past scholar community.
I used AHS' existing branding colors to create graphics for AHSC to use across social media and email marketing. The strong blue border helps the graphics stand out against white backgrounds and differentiate among other contend on AHS' social feeds.
I created the copy for the launch email, as well. I hoped to convey a sense of urgency in joining the community platform, drawing on current global events (COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter social justice movement) to discuss AHS' values as an organization.
AHSC has helped drive community engagement, with over 150 members of our scholar community signed up with active profiles two months after our launch. AHS is using the community platform as a space to present resources to scholars and will play an active role in curriculum moving forward.
We're currently in the planning stages of expanding to app to offer a more streamlined mobile experience for AHSC.