Death to Website Redesigns

, Monday, January 26th, 2015

Considering a website redesign?  Feeling like redesigns are expensive, time consuming projects fraught with political landmines?  And, just when you finish one, it will be time to start over again?

Angry Villagers

Angry villagers hate everything – especially redesigns.

I hear you.  The redesign process can be exhausting and, as sites get larger and more complex, can be difficult to maintain – let alone rationalize.  Occasionally, an all-in approach is warranted but… prepare yourself for what you’re about to read…

A redesign might not be the best way to solve your challenges.

As your digital program has matured, you may have developed a robust and usable CMS, good governance practices, solid information architecture, an established brand presence and good search traffic.  With stable, solid footings, you don’t need to start from scratch.  Instead, of a revolutionary redesign, start thinking “evolution” and planning for refinements and updates to build and improve upon your foundation.

Let’s be real.  Changing your approach from a revolutionary, complete overhaul to a more incremental and evolutionary process doesn’t mean the work does itself.  But an evolutionary approach does keep the site – and your other digital properties along with it – front and center in strategy, planning and execution.  And it eliminates the drama and tension of the revolutionary once-and-done (but not really done) approach.

At Beaconfire, we’re helping our clients think differently about their website redesigns: moving from revolution to evolution. If you’re interested in promoting digital evolution at your organization, join me to get started at Death to Website Redesigns, a Beaconfire Webinar on Thursday, Feb. 5 at Noon, EST.


CNN says to Read This (about the Sleuk Rith Institute)

, Monday, November 24th, 2014

CNN HomepageWhile eating my morning breakfast and scrolling through the “READ THIS, WATCH THAT” section on CNN’s homepage, I noticed a familiar picture. Nestled between “landfill dogs’ face sad reality” and “this animal attacks, traps man in home”, was the headline “Cambodia’s Stunning Genocide Memorial” and a photo of the Sleuk Rith Institute.

We were thrilled to design the website for the visionary project and happy to see it getting the attention it so richly deserves. If you haven’t heard about the Sleuk Rith Institute and its inspiring mission and stunning design, the CNN article is a great introduction to the project. I can’t make the same promise about the article about Britney Spears reading a mean tweet.


Free NTEN Programming!

, Monday, November 3rd, 2014

We’re thrilled to be a sponsor for NTEN’s Member Appreciation Month (MAM) this November. Every year, NTEN says thank you to its member community of nonprofit professionals committed to using technology for social change by offering a full month of free programming and prizes exclusively for NTEN Members, plus special local events and content. If you’re not an NTEN Member, you can learn more and join today just in time for the celebration at!  (I’ve been a member for 10 years. If you’re not a member yet, join today — it’s totally worth it.)

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Beaconfire is Honored to Be Part of a Pioneering New Institute and Memorial in Cambodia

, Monday, October 27th, 2014

Beaconfire is honored to be a part of a new institution and genocide memorial underway in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The Sleuk Rith Institute is the vision of human rights activist and investigator of the Khmer Rouge atrocities, Youk Chhang. “We have to live with a long, dark shadow,” says Chhang. “We cannot escape it, but we shouldn’t be enslaved by it. I want the institute to bring something new and hopeful, and get us out of the mindset of being victims.”
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