The World YMCA

Driving transformative change for one of the world’s best known youth empowerment organisations.

The Problem

Whilst The World YMCA are globally recognised as the world’s oldest and one of its largest youth empowerment organisations, they were in need of modernisation to keep up with their peers in ‘The Big 6’. Their previous website was rich in content but presented a disjointed user experience, with lots of content living in different places, making it difficult for users to navigate.

Moreover, their old website felt removed from national and local YMCA movements: the people working on the ground implementing the global vision of the YMCA. Creating a sense of belonging and inclusion was crucial to the task.

The Result

We designed the new website to include seamless navigation, allowing users to find the information they need, and encouraging them to explore further. This user-friendly experience is consistent across all devices, platforms, and browsers, achieved through the integration of responsive and adaptable web design.
As a result, the information becomes universally accessible, and is supported by translation into French and Spanish, the two other YMCA working languages. To elevate this further, we utilised a range of diverse photography that demonstrates the impact they make in each focus area, across different countries, and throughout their services.

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Services Provided

YMCA – Case – study – Hero

Elevating their worldwide impact

The World YMCA supports the global YMCA Movement across more than 100 countries, driving transformative change. Visitors seeking information about different YMCA National Movements, and how they can get involved, need to fully understand The World YMCA’s role and where they fit in. The strategic placement of this information aims to inspire participation and drive engagement, aligning with the site’s overarching objective of motivating people to take action.

Reinforcing this mission are various statistics woven throughout the website, representing the impact of The World YMCA and its widespread visibility. These statistics also bridge the gap between the World Alliance and National Movements, spotlighting the extensive network of local branches, dedicated staff, and volunteers who are united under one umbrella. In tandem with this, we included a wide range of photography that amplifies their global reach, and effectively portrays the diverse communities they work with and support.

Montage of website project, showing large image of kids covering eyes, with forms, maps and project stats surrounding them.
Red website Favicon with lettering YMCA, with illustrated black line running looping around.

Creating an easy user experience

We started with an in-depth research phase, aiming to thoroughly understand the role of the website in our client's mission and brand identity. Understanding the website's functionality and overall structure was key, alongside identifying the target audience for each section and the desired actions they should take, whether that be getting in touch, partnering with The World YMCA, or donating. Based on these insights, we redesigned the website's structure from scratch, iterating through several sitemap and wireframe stages.

Our focus was on optimising user flow, ensuring the site was rich in content yet uncluttered, and delivering information at the right time. We then turned our attention to the necessary functionalities and integrations. This included exploring how to integrate Give WP for donations, implementing efficient resource hub filtering, and adding translation capabilities. Additionally, we initiated the creation of new assets and stylesheets to improve the website's design.

children on the screen with coloured statistics
blue and white wireframe
building from the ground up words on white background
colour palette and typography on white background

Flexible web design for users everywhere

By designing a website that boasts flexibility and adaptability, we ensured its seamless performance across every device and browser, underpinned by fast loading times that significantly enhance user retention and interaction. Given The World YMCA's role in empowering a global movement, the website's efficacy is a critical factor for users worldwide, regardless of where they’re accessing content. This was achieved not only through a user-centric design but also by representing The World YMCA's brand image in every aspect of the site, from navigation to visual elements.

Embracing a user-centric approach and outlining different user journeys, we orchestrated the creation of a website that resonates with each of The World YMCA’s user personas.

Through intuitive menu navigation, compelling calls to action, and the integration of diverse imagery, we established a cohesive digital experience that encourages people to explore further and join the global YMCA Movement.

Integral to this design was the aim to better reflect the YMCA's brand ethos, weaving illustrative shapes and bright colours throughout the site. Prioritising the representation of people and imagery at the forefront, emphasises the YMCA's focus on community and inclusivity, bringing to life a website that captures the essence of the YMCA’s commitment to people and children worldwide.

Black man holding iphone in hand looking at the website navigation.
Laptop on wooden desk showing the website navigation dropdown on screen.
Man using tablet looking at the History of world YMCA page. Screen shows a large group image with a timeline of key dates above.
Where we make our impact global map, highlighting all the continents they work in: Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Vision 2030 website screen. Big hero image of little boy with parents, showing sustainable planet charity pillar.

Continuing to drive positive change

Partnering with such a renowned and respected youth organisation is a privilege, and knowing we are helping them make a positive impact throughout the world is rewarding.

Our ongoing partnership means a great deal to us, and we’re honoured to continue working with The World YMCA. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to helping The World YMCA enhance their mission to empower, support, and change.

Social media screens on a overlapping grid layout. Posts interlacing with typographic social stories
Macbook closing with YMCA sticker logo and globe on the back.
💭

"Sincerely well done and thank you, Canny, for the new World YMCA website. A canny job! You’ve debated, designed, developed and delivered a great website, and we are pleased. It’s fresh, attractive, efficient, structured and creative, and more besides. We have greatly enjoyed working with you all and had fun in the process."

John Phillips from the World YMCA

John Phillips

Director of Communications

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What our partners say 📢

Leaf IT

"They took a difficult brief and delivered a fresh new brand that pushes boundaries and arms us with what we need to grow our business and expand into new markets."

Rachael Weir headshot

Rachael Weir

Marketing Manager

NTE

"The project has increased Channel Partner engagement and enhanced awareness of our services portfolio. Canny's work has been vital in supporting our strategic goals as we evolve as a company."

NTE - Emily Mason

Emily Mason

Channel Marketing Manager

IHF

"Canny understood the need to work like an extension of the team and reduced stress delivering a major transformational project. They've helped us take a big step forward in building our profile."

Headshot of Katherine Bennett from the IHF (International Hospital Federation)

Katherine Bennett

Senior Communications Manager

Macdonald & Company

"They took our disjointed branding and turned it into a strong, professional showpiece for our global consultancy. The rebranding success led to us appointing Canny to relaunch our website, further cementing our new look and taking on a complicated integration project with ease."

Chanelle headshot

Chanelle Alhinai

Marketing Manager

What our partners say 📢

Leaf IT

"They took a difficult brief and delivered a fresh new brand that pushes boundaries and arms us with what we need to grow our business and expand into new markets."

Rachael Weir headshot

Rachael Weir

Marketing Manager

NTE

"The project has increased Channel Partner engagement and enhanced awareness of our services portfolio. Canny's work has been vital in supporting our strategic goals as we evolve as a company."

NTE - Emily Mason

Emily Mason

Channel Marketing Manager

IHF

"Canny understood the need to work like an extension of the team and reduced stress delivering a major transformational project. They've helped us take a big step forward in building our profile."

Headshot of Katherine Bennett from the IHF (International Hospital Federation)

Katherine Bennett

Senior Communications Manager

Macdonald & Company

"They took our disjointed branding and turned it into a strong, professional showpiece for our global consultancy. The rebranding success led to us appointing Canny to relaunch our website, further cementing our new look and taking on a complicated integration project with ease."

Chanelle headshot

Chanelle Alhinai

Marketing Manager