Wanted: A Modern, Responsive Website

September 13, 2016   |   Craig Strydom

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. The organization’s roots go back as far as October 1888, a full 101 years before the invention of the World Wide Web.

Having designed the Sheriffs.org website in 2010, the NSA contracted Blue Water for a website redesign and modernization. Today, with a little help from Blue Water, a modern, robust website serves as the central go-to hub for all things sheriff-related.

Sheriff.org Homepage


Mobile, the New Sheriff in Town

With mobile searches now surpassing desktop searches by several percentage points, it’s not surprising that one of NSA’s upfront goals was to make the website responsive. In addition, Blue Water was asked to evaluate the functionality requirements of the new site to see if a Drupal 8 (from Drupal 6) upgrade was possible. Increased positive perception of law enforcement with the general public was crucial too, underscoring the importance of their auxiliary audiences, such as citizens and neighborhood watch organizations.

Taking Gut Instinct Off the Table

Just as data is central to the Blue Water approach, qualitative research is part of BW’s proprietary RapidUX process. Questions, such as: What do you like most about the NSA website? What do you dislike most about the NSA website? What can be added or improved to make the NSA website more useful/helpful? How easy is it to find what you are looking for on the NSA website? What information, if any, have you had trouble finding on the NSA website? were asked. Answers to these questions helped Blue Water make informed decisions with regard to the redesign and internet architecture of the new site.

Main Menu of Sheriff.org


Sheriff, Sans Serif

The sheriff icon is one of the most recognizable branding devices in the world. Likewise, the organization’s brand colors. Which is why Blue Water reinforced the bold gold, yellow and dark blue throughout the site. In addition, to help with responsiveness, the end-design boasts an intentionally more modular grid layout. And, to take ease-of-use a step further, ‘Lato,’ an easy-to-read sans serif typeface was used.

The site, launched in July 2016, is being well received with increased engagement rates and visitors.

To learn more about Blue Water RapidUX and how to improve your user experience contact us today!