Pittsburgh Food Bank Open Redesign

I’m thrilled to announce that @brad_frost and I are redesigning the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank website…in the open.

In all honesty, it took some persuading for me to agree to work in public. My first thoughts were, I’m going to flat out embarrass myself and be seen as a fraud. Reading Chris Coyier’s Working in Public post helped convince me, and reading in the comments I saw a remark from Josh Long that really resonated with me:


  1. It makes you think clearly and directly
  2. It forces you to know what the hell you’re talking about.
  3. It shows people how much you put into your work.
  4. It’s a great way to document your work.
  5. It’s a great way to give back and teach others.

I couldn’t agree more with these statements and I’m so excited that the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) is open to sharing. They’re a compassionate organization and I’m happy to support their mission to feed the hungry and help our community better mobilize by giving their eight year old website a redesign…in the open.

Main Goals

In our first few discussions with GPCFB, we established the biggest priorities. We were able to break these into two different kinds of goals: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative Goals

Tell GPCFB’s Story

  • Increase the transparency of the organization
  • Surface general education on what GPCFB is and what it does
  • Include more personal content (i.e: letters from volunteers, letter from people helped, impactful images, introducing staff)

Increase Credibility

  • Elevate the food bank so they’re more well known in the region. Help establish credibility and make success stories more findable

Make the site more usable and accessible

  • Easier navigation
  • Easier search
  • Create a responsive site that is accessible on any device
  • Create a more intuitive and visually engaging experience

Quantitative Goals

  • Increase Online Donations – make donations more distinguishable, accessible and easier
  • Increase Time on Site
  • Increase Page Views

Follow the redesign


We’re excited to share what we know and what we’re doing. You can check in and follow the redesign on our project timeline (props to Dan Mall, we kinda stole this project timeline idea from him).

Next steps…
We’ve asked GFCFB to lay out a Content Inventory of their site. We’re working on collecting an Interface Inventory and circling back to talk about designing systematically, stay tuned!

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