Schuylkill River Development Corporation

Improving the Experience of the Schuylkill Banks with an Award-Winning Site

The Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit working to revitalize the 8-mile tidal basin of the Schuylkill River that is now known as the Schuylkill Banks. Message Agency was excited to partner with SRDC to rebuild their Drupal 6 site, transitioning to a fully responsive Drupal 7 site. We focused on refreshing SRDC’s messaging and visual identity, as well as improving the usability of the site both on and off the trail. Active runners, bikers, and visitors to Philadelphia can now use the mobile version of the site as a dynamic guide for their journey.

The home page on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile

Refreshed Messaging and Visual Identity

We delivered a design that better allows SRDC to feature their extensive collection of high-quality photographs. The site's visual design is structured around strong imagery and a vibrant yet elegant color treatment. The visual design is paired with a focused content strategy that clearly describes the SRDC and its relationship to the Schuylkill Banks. The simple information architecture and clear calls-to-action throughout the site further improve people's ability to navigate the site, resulting in a more fluid experience.

Capital Projects

SRDC’s work centers on development projects that activate the Schuylkill Banks and add sections of trail that connect existing landmarks.  We created a Projects display that highlights current, past, and anticipated development. The display allows SRDC to mark capital projects by status—completed, in the pipeline, and proposed—to better inform residents and visitors and attract additional investment.  Each project has its own detailed view with additional information and convenient links to Google Maps. The redesign highlights SRDC’s impact, allowing interested parties to better understand the long-term and far-reaching growth that SRDC has supported.

Trail Map

The site was designed to help visitors discover and access the variety of trails, landmarks, and amenities available to them along the Schuylkill Trail.  Each landmark is given a color-coded pinpoint on a mobile-accessible trail map, with filter options for location types including access points, parking, and suggested routes. The Trail Map also links directly to Google Maps so people can get simple directions to the places they discover on the map. Additionally, each pinpointed location has a stand-alone page where SRDC shares relevant images and information about each spot.

Events and Event Series

SRDC is committed to making the Schuylkill River Banks a social and cultural destination as well as a trail. We chose to highlight the events that occur throughout the year via a dynamic events display that groups events by month in a grid array rather than a traditional calendar. This allows people more easily scan upcoming events instead of searching through a cramped calendar view. It was also important that the feature was easy for SRDC staff to manage, and flexible enough to allow events to effectively stand alone or collapse into a series view. By categorizing events by series such as monthly movie nights and kayak tours, people are able to easily identify upcoming events that are relevant to their specific interests.

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