Koko’s got a new website!

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The Gorilla Foundation has been (not so secretly) developing a new website for about 4 years now. Finally, in Spring of 2014, the project reached critical mass and was officially launched on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — in time for Koko’s 43rd birthday.

In addition to using more modern technology, the new website is intended to satisfy the following design criteria:

  • TGF’s mission and primary programs for accomplishing it should be crystal clear.
  • Easy to find stuff — TGF has accumulated a lot of content over 4 decades, and the challenge was to organize it in a way that would neither overwhelm nor hide information that might be important to some viewers.
  • Accommodate a diverse spectrum of people — from kids to teachers to scientists to zookeepers to general animal lovers and environmentally conscious adults, in all English speaking countries (to start).
  • Easy to learn Koko’s sign language (ASL with some modifications)
  • Easy to read — the right balance of fonts and colors and images and layout.
  • Layer information hierarchically — so that people could walk away with as much or little as they desired, and make that decision dynamically.
  • Feature photos and especially videos (we have a lot of video content, and thanks to YouTube it is now easy for us to embed as much of it as we have time to post)
  • Include our multimedia Powerpoint presentations — thanks to Google Presentations, it is now easy to give interactive access to all our presentations using just a simple web browser.  
  • Create a framework that we can continue to build upon and make more and more interactive and collaborative
  • Easy for people to contact us and share anything you like with friends via your favorite social media network.
  • Easy for people to support us in whatever manner they feel comfortable
  • Flexible — built via a powerful content management system (Drupal) that enables the site to evolve as new technologies and mission-critical projects come online.

We hope we’ve been at least partially successful with most of these criteria, and if we have, it’s to a large extent thanks to the support of the following partners:

  • 1185 Design:   Created the initial design and implementation, and then enhanced that design as needed.
  • Trevnet Media:  Implemented the latest design innovations from 1185, made important contributions to that design, QA-ed the site before launch, and migrated the new site to a new cloud-based server that they personally manage.
  • CCAH (Chapman, Cubine Adams and Hussey): Helped with messaging to new and existing Gorilla Foundation menbers, about the benefits and options for membership.
  • Wakeby, Fire & Associates:  Helped with general messaging strategy, to create a closer relationship with Koko’s diverse audience of friends and supporters.

It has been a true team effort — both with the above partners, and for the staff and associated colleagues of The Gorilla Foundation (websites are natural integrators and team-builders).

We invite you to visit our new website (regularly) and to share Koko’s new website with all your friends.  We also invite you to share your constructive feedback with us, so we can learn from each other, and in the process do a better job of helping our critically endangered great ape friends — which is the main reason for developing Koko’s new website in the first place.