Macmillan Sustainability Responsive Website. Books Are Great But Tough on the Environment.

Macmillan Sustainability was a passion project of Macmillan Publishers CEO John Sargent. Mr. Sargent has always been an avid outdoors-man and a strong proponent of green practices and environmental responsibility since before it was fashionable. He wanted to create a web site and blog dedicated to the efforts the company was making to decrease their carbon footprint and improve sustainable approaches to the publishing industry.

I was approached to design and develop this site from the group up. Unsurprisingly, I built the site with the Wordpress CMS engine and designed and coded a custom theme from scratch. Long discussions were held with the Sustainability oversight committee concerning the color palette, ultimately settling on bright greens and blues balanced by a soft, earthy brown to create a nature-oriented, friendly feel.

There was a massive amount of information that needed to be parlayed throughout the site. In order to keep the text from getting too overwhelming, we decided to use large, eye-catching photos featured prominently at the top of each page that would hopefully encourage the user to continue to explore the various inner-pages. I also included redundant navigational elements to make the site as easy to traverse as possible. A list of related pages at the side and bottom of each article allow the reader quick access to further information about a chosen subtopic.

This was the first significant responsive site I had ever created and I wanted to make sure it was well-optimized for mobile devices. (After all, the big boss was personally invested in the whole thing.) My end goal was to make a clean, intuitive site that presented a large amount of information clearly in a way that wouldn't turn off the viewer. Also, I had to structure it in such a way that—once handed off to a site administrator—it would be easy to update nearly anything about the site with little-to-no HTML knowledge. (Of course, many, many, many thanks go to the Wordpress infrastructure which already went a long way toward that goal straight out of the box.)

Special thanks go to Mr. John Sargent and my managers at Macmillan for letting me take this on.

You can view the Macmillan Sustainability site here.