The Brooklyn Navy Yard (the Yard) is a mission-driven industrial park that is a nationally acclaimed model of the viability and positive impact of modern, urban industrial development run by the not-for-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) on behalf of its owner, the City of New York. BNYDC’s mission is to fuel economic vitality by creating and preserving quality jobs, growing the City’s modern industrial sector and its businesses, and connecting the local community with the economic opportunity and resources of the Yard.

Challenge

BNYDC underwent an organizational transformation in recent years, shifting their focus from acting as a manufacturing hub to fostering support for local businesses and entrepreneurship. As part of this transformation, the BNYDC website needed a complete redesign.

Radish Lab was chosen to help BNYDC implement a new brand identity and merge two websites (belonging to the Yard and the visitors center, BLDG 92) into one. This new site needed to be functional for users and tenants for business purposes, communicate the new organizational focus, and showcase the work of over 330 businesses at The Yard.

Solution

For the new site, Radish decided to feature the stories of the Yard’s tenants more prominently. We believed using personal stories would be an effective tool for BNYDC to share their new vision through their website, as the relatable accounts and snapshots of real people and small businesses enable the public to truly connect with and understand the depth of BNYDC’s work.

With a robust repository of information and unique goals for the website, we challenged BNYDC to reimagine how they were presenting themselves online, collaborated to develop a new content strategy, and ultimately guided them to think and talk differently about their work. To meet the needs of their newly restructured content, we created a custom Ruby on Rails CMS for BNYDC with twelve customized component modules. This flexibility and functionality provides organized and consistent structure, and will make it easy for BNYDC to create, edit and update content. We also used photos and interactive features to make a more engaging, intuitive experience, to keep users exploring on the site. The final product represented a unified vision and achieved the goals of the BNYDC leadership team, leasing office, employment center, and BLDG 92.

Impact + Highlights

  • Successfully merged two websites into an engaging one-stop shop that communicates the organization’s new strategic focus and branding.
  • Created a cohesive visual language through original icons and illustrations.
  • Implemented backend tenant portal, for a better system for tenants to get information, connect with other tenants, and communicate with management.

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