Great Lakes Observing System

A better way to think about UX design.

At Manning we believe that the web is a storytelling medium.

We’re proud of how we applied this thinking to the leading non-profit organization that monitors and provides data and forecasting for the Great Lakes, GLOS.

Our goal was to create an interactive experience that will truly engage the key audience segments. We know from our decades of experience that one key to that is applying a visual storytelling approach.

Capabilities Used

  • Strategy
  • UI & UX Design
  • Search Engine Optimization & Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Development

The new GLOS website features breathtaking imagery that showcases the Great Lakes.

The five Great Lakes are one of our continent’s most important and beautiful resources that impacts the lives of millions of American and Canadians. The website features stunning lake visuals with a programmed rotation of season-specific images of the lakes that changes each time a viewer visits the site. The mobile first design also provides an excellent visual experience for the more than 40% of users who are using a mobile device.

Broad audience types and needs provide a unique challenge for many non-profits.

GLOS serves a number of important constituencies from boaters and recreations users of the lakes who are looking for a shorter term forecast of wave heights and water conditions to scientists who are studying climate change, pollution and water purity and other important topics. The site’s data tools allow each type of user to access real time as well as historical data from thousands of bouys, satellites and other sources. The challenge was to create a site that effectively serves all these specific needs and guide users to the tool(s) to get the information they need.

Building membership and user engagement is an important component.

The GLOS digital strategy, like many other non-profits, has a goal to increase membership and participation in the issues that affect the Great Lakes. The site has a variety of unique calls to action to promote contact from a variety of audiences – encouraging data providers to share their data, prompting users of the Great Lakes to sign up for newsletters, and to allow professionals and scientists to set up custom data models and encouraging them to join and contribute. All these contacts are integrated into Salesforce, along with an ecommerce application to process donations and membership renewals.