A Client Story with Kasey Minnis, Director of Operations & Communications

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

“k2d took what we envisioned and brought it to life looking better than we ever could have imagined.”

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a shocking, terrifying, and emotional diagnosis for individuals and their loved ones. The disease disrupts the function of the central nervous system, which is responsible for communicating information between the brain and body. When this channel of communication is disturbed, a wide variety of unpredictable and sporadic symptoms can result, which makes MS particularly challenging and stressful to manage. Some MS patients can control the progression of their symptoms while others must adapt to life in a wheelchair. No two MS patients are alike, but they all share in the anxiety of living with this physically, emotionally, and financially strenuous disease.

MS Focus is a nonprofit organization that is determined to improve the quality of life for individuals living with multiple sclerosis. Where some organizations work tirelessly to fund research for the cause and cure, MS Focus offers free care for the immediate critical needs of individuals and loved ones affected by multiple sclerosis.

“Today and every day until a cure is found, MS Focus will continue to provide programs and support services for those affected by multiple sclerosis.”

Project Purpose

MS Focus outgrew their old web solutions provider and used a content management system that was unreliable and unnecessarily complex. They needed better support from an agency who could keep up with technology and create a better user experience for their audiences and employees.

MS Focus also needed a complete redesign of their main website using the latest technologies. Their current functions were clunky and inefficient, and their site had grown so large and complex, they couldn’t fathom how to approach the renovation.

Most importantly, MS Focus has a unique audience that requires a specialized user experience. People with MS may have a visual impairment, cognitive changes, muscle spasms, tremors, seizures and other menacing symptoms that interfere with their ability to perform daily tasks. MS Focus wanted a web solution that was simple to navigate and sensitive to the challenges their audiences face.

“We knew we were going to have to depend on the expertise of skilled developers to map out the architecture of this new site, conceive how its functionality should work and envision the look and feel.”

The Work

“k2d had been working with us for some time before the full redesign took place. So, I was surprised when their first step was to interview all the stakeholders. By now, they must have had their own sense of who we were, but they still took the time to make sure they were getting everyone’s vision for this project.”

First, k2d stabilized the existing MS Focus website and developed two smaller ancillary websites for MS Focus (MS Focus Radio and MS Focus Magazine). Next, k2d set out to create a brand-new, highly functional main website that brilliantly catered to the needs of the MS community, and the nonprofit employees who dedicate their lives to supporting them.

We immediately switched MS Focus into Kentico, an enterprise-level content management system that’s powerful, easy to use, and reliable. We also developed an incredibly simple interface and navigation system to ensure quick, easy access to information.

“I never had a situation where, if something was urgent, I couldn't get through to someone right away. And in terms of letting me know where things were — they were always on top of it.”

One of the major issues with the previous site was its convoluted workflows and donation process. Right away, we knew we wanted to correct these issues by making the user experience a clean and highly visual guided experience. Instead of titled tabs, we designed large icons to connect visitors with the right pages. We also added a large, easy-to-access donation box on the homepage and expanded the payment option to include PayPal. The new system walks visitors through every process and delivers the same user experience no matter the device or screen size.

“Their unique user focus really showed throughout the entire redesign process. k2d fully grasped what was needed and did a great job conveying those needs in the look and function of our site.”
  • Other key features of the new MS Focus website include:
  • BoIA, Section 508 and WCAG compliance
  • Custom lending library
  • Event automations and registration
  • Finance system data transfer

The Results

“Right away, we saw business results, including an increase in donations and a 100% decrease in complaints about the donation process.”

Additionally, MS Focus noticed a significant increase in the number of applications they received for certain programs. The people applying for services were able to identify what programs they needed and send in their applications without delay or confusion.

Stakeholders were also pleased with how smoothly the redesign process went. k2d conducted a thorough project process that involved stakeholders in every milestone event. We also used collaborative tools like Envision to make the approval process for page design and content layout a painless task for the nonprofit’s internal team.

“Being able to share a link with all the stakeholders made the process much easier. And we loved working in Kentico Draft, which made it so simple to assign content to specific people and hit all the right checkpoints before launch.”

Today, the system is smart, logical, quick, and candid. The end user experience is far more enjoyable, and the resource section has added functionality with the ability to filter and search.

“Everything is more intuitive than it was before.”

MS Focus’s partnership with k2d is ongoing. The nonprofit is currently working on making social media a larger part of their outreach strategy, and they plan to continue evolving as the needs of their audiences change and grow.