“Puppies on the Patio” — Theta Tau philanthropy event where animal shelter puppies are brought to campus before finals week.

How do you convince people to join your organization?

Link: www.calthetatau.com

Background

The purpose of Theta Tau is to develop and maintain a high standard of professional interest among its members, and to unite them in a strong bond of fraternal fellowship.

Theta Tau is a professional co-ed engineering fraternity whose core values are brotherhood, professionalism, and philanthropy. As a member of this fraternity, redesigning this website was very personal to me because I knew the previous website didn’t do our brand justice.

Problem with the previous design

The old home page with bad quality pictures of members that graduated years ago. They don’t even go here anymore!

The purpose of the Theta Tau website is to inform and excite non-members so that they want to join. They should leave the website informed about what Theta Tau does and with a positive image of its people. The old website, unfortunately, did the opposite.

The old About page that was filled with too much text to read for a college student’s attention span.

Ideation

I asked members the questions below so that I could form an overall idea of how they wanted to be represented to the greater Berkeley community. From there, I decided on the direction of the redesign.

  1. What does Theta Tau mean to you? Why do you love it?
  2. Why did you rush Theta Tau in the first place?
  3. What image of Theta Tau do you want to portray to non-members?

The common themes among the responses I received were community and brotherhood. Members originally joined because of the potential bonds they had hoped to make with others. and they continue to stay because of the strength and success of those bonds that were formed. Its members value brotherhood and familial connections above everything else.

These answers helped me to determine that Theta Tau’s website should showcase the awesomeness of its members and family atmosphere. Alongside this, the website must also reflect the organization’s focus on professional development.

Design decisions and execution

Photoshop mockup of the new About page. More pictures, fewer words.

Positioning

I decided to use a top-bottom where content was divided into “slides” taking the width of the browser in order to focus attention on one thing at a time. This broke up the pages into clearly defined areas and minimized noise.

Spacing

I utilized white space in each section to give emphasis on images and information. Large amounts of space were appropriate for the project, the intent here similar to that of a promotional website.

Typography and Images

I chose to use Charter as my serif font and Lato as my sans-serif font in order to simultaneously reflect the tradition of the fraternity and the modernism and innovation of engineering.

Point size, line spacing (line-height), line length, and letter-spacing were also carefully considered for readability. I also edited the text for conciseness and appropriate tone and voice.

High quality images were a must so as to reflect well upon the professionalism of the organization and evoke positive emotions. Images speak louder than words, and most users tend to scan rather than read.

Color

I selected a shade of dark red that was very similar to Theta Tau’s official brand colors, while the rest of the colors were neutral. This color palette resulted in the website looking very clean and lightweight, letting content shine brightest.

Campus Presence section demo