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826 Boston website gets a makeover

December 5, 2023

A picture of the updated homepage on 826boston.org, featuring a student smiling in a Writers' Room

Have you checked out our website and noticed that it looks a bit different?

Over the past two years, our team has been working on ways to make our work and our spaces more accessible, including our website (826boston.org). We just implemented some important changes, and we wanted to share a bit about the journey with all of you.

The Accessibility Audit

In 2022, our team participated in an accessibility audit with EPIC (Empowering People for Inclusive Communities). They met with team members across 826 Boston to determine how to strengthen our accessibility work.

Through this project, we discovered that our website needed attention, particularly for people with different types of visual impairments. How could we make it easier for people to read and find information on our website?

Working closely with our long-time developer/designer/educator Saul Baizman, we used a variety of tools (including some here) to review our homepage and our most-visited pages—and we made some real progress. We reduced the number of accessibility errors on these pages from 45 to 1, we cut the number of alerts being reported in half, we added plug-ins to the back end of our website so we could more regularly track issues and make updates in the future.

But we found that one area needed extra attention: Our brand colors. The colors we were using on our website created low visual contrast, making items hard to read. So we got to work refining our brand colors, working to make them more accessible, while still keeping their energy and warmth.

We got rid of the yellow, added some grays, and included a spicy raspberry for a bit of pop, but most importantly, we used tools (like this) to make sure our updated colors would allow for better background/foreground contrast and would work for those with common forms of color blindness.

Here are the results—our updated brand palette guide!

The Webpage Revamped

We then worked to update these colors on the website, added a few new photos, and we’re excited to share the revamped look with all of you!

Here is the old homepage:

Here is our updated homepage:

A picture of the updated homepage on 826boston.org, featuring a student smiling in a Writers' Room

We hope these updates will make our website content easier to read, and we’ll continue to work on updating these colors across all of our materials—and making all of our content as accessible as possible. Let us know what you think of the updated look!

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