Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit / Nominee

Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit

"Many other camp experience sites failed to offer an accessible and user-centric approach to their site. In our research we noticed a pattern of this and wanted to present an immersive experience for all. " Daxko

Q: Can you describe your project and the concept behind it?

A: YMCA Camp Cullen is a premier camp experience centered on core values of caring, honesty, respect and faith while allowing campers to gain independence, self-worth and lifelong memories. Expanding upon this mission, Daxko and the Houston Y partnered to bring the true adventure of camp to life through an interactive, immersive website experience with website accessibility for all users regardless of disabilities or socioeconomic status.

Q: Tell us about your initial moodboard, wireframe, or prototype. How did things change throughout the process?

A: Before getting to mood boards and wireframes we did a deep dive into other camp websites to gain understanding of the landscape. We also interviewed parents who attended camp, who now have children attending. Based on that research we then created mood/brand boards based on the Y brand and the physical camp. Taking these steps kept our design process streamlined because the client knew what to expect and we sweetened the experience from there.

Q: What influenced your chosen technical approach, and how did it go beyond past methods?

A: The client currently had experience with the WordPress platform, so it made sense to stay with WP. We created a custom navigation system that includes "experiences" for better user flow, side navigation that focused on quick action items, integrated video, accessibility tools, language tools and an interactive map. We took the time to work with the client to meet the needs of the mission and this included the technical approaches.

When did you experience a breakthrough or an "a-ha" moment during this project?

Many other camp experience sites failed to offer an accessible and user-centric approach to their site. In our research we noticed a pattern of this and wanted to present an immersive experience for all. We took a deep dive into what parents and children alike would be looking for in a camp experience at Camp Cullen and translated that into one that gave the user a sense of experiencing the camp before even stepping foot on the property.


Q: What web technologies, tools, and resources did you use to develop this?

A: The site was built on WordPress and is fully custom. We started with research, then provided mood boards to nail the concept. Next we created the sitemap using Flowmapp. Adobe XD was used to develop prototypes and design systems so we could easily demonstrate concepts with the client and ease hand-off to the development team. We used a custom WP theme designed for the client, to ensure the experience came to life on all platforms.

Q: How did you balance your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

A: Camp Cullen has a longstanding tradition of diversity and inclusivity and represents the values of the YMCA to the Houston community. Dating back to 1974, the camp has served as an exciting adventure of growth and learning. Our challenge was to recreate that experience online from a feet-in-the dirt experience to a digital experience. We also wanted to grow the Camp Cullen brand with colors and elements that spoke to a cabin-in-the–woods feel.

Q: How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations?

A: The response from the client and camper attendees was amazing and the results speak for themselves — a 214% increase in new users, 221% in sessions and a 37% increase in duration. The new YMCA Camp Cullen website showcases a unique online experience that is unlike anything that has been created previously for the Y movement, allowing the organizations mission to thrive. We're thrilled with the final product and honored to be recognized by Webby.

Q: Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

A: The web is always changing, especially in the health/wellness space where we're focused. In the non-profit space where there has not been a strong emphasis on branded web experiences, there’s a lot of room for growth. We are excited to be in this space and help change the landscape in the non-profit world. The drive to bring experiences new to the space and elevating to the organizations and their communities is what drives us.
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