Just Buffalo Literary Center

The road ahead for this website was, ironically, the road behind it. Just Buffalo was about to celebrate its 40th year, and they wanted to redesign their website in coordination with other celebratory marketing efforts. The biggest asks included: e-commerce capability with an onsite shopping cart for ticket sales and donations; a unique and stylish event calendar; and a comprehensive timeline that would not only highlight the organization’s history over the last four decades, but serve as a continuing archive for the future.

Responsibilities: Planning and strategy, research, user experience, information architecture, sitemap, content strategy, copywriting and editing, design, development, ongoing analytics and maintenance, further evolution.

1. Research & Strategy

Following comprehensive SEO research, a sitemap and content strategy was developed to handle the challenge of simultaneously capturing organic traffic and serving up a wide array of services, including their very popular speaker series BABEL and a free writing center for local students. A dynamic and animated timeline plug-in was selected as a solution for the event calendar, which then doubled as the solution for the organization’s historical timeline, allowing the latest events to seamlessly join the archive. Hundreds of pages and posts were then gathered and prepared for design and development.

2. Design-Build

In lieu of a flat wireframe and design process, the content was dropped into a bootstrap-style stage site using WordPress, where the entire team could view the content unadorned in a website context, without the distraction of heavy design elements. Once the content was refined, a simple design approach was employed, with colors, fonts, and images selected to match their branding while elevating it to the next level. This process allowed for a custom page-by-page design, creating a user experience that focuses on the content at hand while educating visitors about the numerous other benefits and services that the organization brings to the community.

Results for the First 2 Years

(Year over Year)


% increase in new users


% increase in unique pageviews


% increase in organic search traffic


% decrease in bounce rate


% increase in online sales

Despite the size and complexity of the high-end design, a detailed user manual and occasional one-on-one training has allowed the client to maintain the site content themselves, even after a major re-skin around the 1-year mark. Collaboration on new or expanded content, as well as new functionality requests, continues to the present day.