Humanity United is a human rights foundation and grant-making organization based out of Redwood Hills, California, that is committed to building a world where modern-day slavery and mass atrocities are no longer possible. Looking to reach a broader global audience, the organization partnered with AREA 17 in 2008 to create their first website.
The ultimate aim of the website is the same as the organization itself: to empower individuals and leaders, deepen public and political support for social change movements, and build community among policy, field-based research and grassroots organizations.
Community is a key attribute of the organization so the collaboration with their partners needed to be at the forefront of the experience
As a relatively new organization with no web-presence, first and foremost, the website needed to establish an accurate picture of Humanity United and its mission. It was important to have a balance between creativity and rigor, being substantial yet digestible. The design needed to be fresh, modern and unique, yet unassuming and natural.
Community is a key attribute of the organization so the collaboration with their partners needed to be at the forefront of the experience. The biggest challenge however was to communicate the organization’s two separate focal points — spanning difficult and complex subject-matter — within one website.
As words cannot speak what images can, the resulting website puts photography at the center of the experience, engaging the user each step of the way in the subject-matter while carefully unfolding the Humanity United story. These images are meant to humanize the mission in a documentary style, driving home the fact that mass atrocities and modern-day slavery still exist in a very real way.
From the technical side, the website needed to be easily accessible in countries where items like broadband and new computers are not readily available to the average person. The website was therefore built to be light and streamlined so that it could degrade gracefully on slower computers and older browsers.
The website is targeted towards policy-makers, researchers and the activist community. However, in the future, it will be extended to the general public in order to further engage people in these very important causes.