Request for Proposals: Website Development

By/
Imahni Moise

About Resolve Website

Resolve Philly's website is a touchpoint for the organization's impactful programs and products highlighting our unique approach to unconventional journalism. As we embark on the redesign process, we aim to elevate the website beyond conventional standards, reimagining it as the quintessential platform for the "local newsroom of the future." The redesigned website seeks to enhance the user experience, ensure accessibility, and foster overall engagement with our community and beyond. This redesign is an opportunity to strengthen our online presence, effectively communicate our goals, showcase our work, and create a more inclusive and dynamic platform for our audience.

About Resolve 

Resolve Philly is a groundbreaking nonprofit newsroom that demonstrates how news can better serve communities when rooted in solutions and community voices. Resolve's commitment to participatory, community-responsive, and collaborative journalism, along with its mission to bridge the information divide, distinguishes the nonprofit from conventional newsrooms. The organization is committed to maximizing access to news and information for all, providing comprehensive coverage of the most critical issues impacting communities through collaborative reporting, and understanding the information needs of communities across Philadelphia in order to produce relevant and impactful stories.

Project Scope

This proposal focuses on the redesign of Resolve Philly's main website (https://www.resolvephilly.org/). The objective is to create a user-friendly, visually appealing, and informative website that aligns with Resolve Philly's brand strategy. The new site should effectively communicate the organization's mission, showcase its work, and serve as a comprehensive resource hub.

We are also looking to combine and represent all of our work (some of which has lived on other websites) on the Resolve Philly website. Our reporting collaborative, formerly known as Broke in Philly, now known as the Philadelphia Journalism Collaborative (PJC), as well as our Equally Informed Philly project utilized their own website platforms. Ideally, we would like to incorporate all of the Equally Informed Philly content into the Resolve website, and create a functional news site (to highlight the work of PJC) within resolvephilly.org. To put it simply: Resolve used to be a “house of brands,” and we are now seeking to make it a “branded house.”

Project Background and Goals 

The existing website, developed using Drupal, requires a redesign to meet current standards and better represent Resolve Philly's evolving identity. The redesigned site should address user experience, offer seamless navigation, and provide clear pathways to information and resources. We have not had a good experience using Drupal and are not open to that software moving forward. The platform on which the website is developed should also be user-friendly so that updates can easily be made by Resolve staff.

Project Goals

The redesigned Resolve Philly website will:

  • Streamline navigation for improved user experience and accessibility.
  • Create clarity and increase engagement.
  • Create a visually appealing and modern design that aligns with the brand identity and engages users.
  • Incorporate social media integration to enhance the website's connectivity and encourage social sharing.
  • Increase conversion rates by converting visitors into newsletter and text line subscribers.
  • Finds an interesting and easy way to highlight Resolve’s other editorial outputs that are not meant for traditional website publication (such as our text line that sends out resources and vital information to people experiencing economic insecurity throughout the city).
  • Incorporate a news website (PJC) that also gives visitors the ability to understand the breadth of our work beyond reporting.
    • Showcase newsroom stories effectively, using PJC branding.

Guiding Principles 

Recognition: Elevate awareness and understanding of the Resolve Philly website, positioning it as the forefront of innovation in the "local newsroom of the future."

Clarity: Clearly articulate the programs, products, tools, and resources offered by Resolve Philly, ensuring that visitors gain comprehensive insights into our multifaceted work beyond traditional reporting.

Authority: Educate and challenge with respect, establishing the Resolve Philly website as a trusted authority in shaping the journalism landscape.

Engagement/Collaboration: Encourage active engagement and collaboration among newsrooms, journalists, and community members, fostering a vibrant and dynamic online community that transcends traditional news platforms.

RFP Process + Project Kick-Off Timeline*

Phase

Deadline 

RFP Available 

Friday, February 9

Proposal Deadline 

Friday, March 1

Meetings with Finalists

Week of March 11

Final Agency/Vendor Selected

Friday, March 15

Project Kick-Off

End of March/early April 

*This timeline may shift by a day or two if necessary.

Agency Services and Project Features 

Project and relationship management
Agency needs to manage expectations throughout the life of the project. We seek to work with a partner that is responsive, accountable, transparent, adaptable, and has a clear understanding of client and stakeholder constraints and needs. We prefer in-person/Zoom meetings for kickoffs, workshops, and milestones; check-ins via Slack or email suffice in between milestones. We expect at least one full-time employee as our primary point of contact. 

Design standard and style guide
The project requirements include the development of a digital brand and web style guide for Resolve Philly, including existing logos and colors, as well as the use of graphics, photography, web fonts, iconography, and page stylization.

Content Management System 
In terms of the chosen CMS, advise the Resolve Philly team on best practices, site structure and organization, domain architecture, content tagging, and roles-based permissions. Advise on and implement improvements for Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Define and deliver features so each can be evaluated and fine-tuned based on user testing, and create a roll-out strategy that includes a plan, if necessary, to redirect content during the beta launch and throughout migration. 

Homepage
For many users, the Resolve homepage is a first impression, a point of entry, and an initial wayfinding tool. The new homepage will be dynamic, visually pleasing, seamlessly intuitive,  and effectively integrate a flow of in-house content.

Flexible page templates (including widget or component options)
Design, build, and implement a family of responsive interface design options (themes or content types), based on your provided design standard, that includes options for wide web browsers, narrow web browsers, tablet, smartphone, and printer-friendly formats.

Connection to Resolve and other independently maintained sites/initiatives
Proposals will need a way to tackle how the Philadelphia Journalism Collaborative news stories is embedded within Resolve’s site in either a multisite environment (WordPress) or other similar functionality built into the CMS.

Events Calendar Integration 
The proposal must include the integration of an events calendar into the CMS, as well as a smooth and easy to manage "workflow" to display events (past and upcoming) on the site. The calendar functionality should offer access to search and register for events where applicable. 

SEO / Social Share 
Functionality includes: 

  • Different display titles 
  • Ability to customize meta information, including images for social share and search 
  • Preview of social share and search results

Google Tag Manager / Google Analytics Integration 

Ease of use for the admin interface
Regardless of the CMS, we expect a simple admin interface for our content authors. 

User Testing 
We will provide access to journalists and community members for user testing. 

Post-launch support
Post-launch, we anticipate a 30-day window to log and address issues not uncovered in the usability and accessibility testing.

 

Your Proposal

Agency Background + Team Bios
Please provide us with some background on your agency and its structure, as well as bios of the team members with whom we’d be working throughout the project, and that team’s structure as it relates to this project. Please disclose any third-party partners you plan to work with.

Summary of Agency Capabilities (i.e. brand strategy, design and development for websites, software/app development, quality assurance, qualitative and quantitative research, etc.)

Relevant Case Studies
Share with us a few examples of your work that is similar to this project. What was successful about these projects? How did you approach collaboration with the client and other vendor partners? 

Inspiration for this project

We want Resolve Philly’s website to be beautifully designed, intuitive to use, and innovative while remaining true to our brand. Please share a few URLs that illustrate websites that you think deliver on these concepts. These don’t have to be linked to your own work.

Your approach for this project

  1. Describe how you would approach the deliverables.
  2. Please specify any support you would need from us to accomplish this work.
  3. Provide us with an expected timeline and cost for your team to substantially complete each phase of the project. 

Presentation

Resolve Philly is looking for a symbiotic partnership. We plan to make a shortlist of finalists and those agencies will be asked to meet with the Resolve Philly team to discuss proposals and answer any questions we may have at that juncture. Some of the team members you expect to lead the project, if selected, should attend this meeting. 

How to Submit Your Proposal 

Submission Form 

The deadline to submit is the end of day Friday, March 1, 2024. Submit your proposal as one PDF file using the submission form provided. The form offers the opportunity to submit additional files if need be. 

Selection Process/Criteria 

We will comparatively evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. The team is diverse in skills and experience and includes members with extensive and strong backgrounds in designing and developing websites. 
  2. The examples of past work provided are relevant to this project and highlight the skills of the team that would be assigned to this project as well as the works’ success story. 
  3. The links shared as inspiration for this project resonate strongly with our vision and goals for the new website.
  4. The proposed approach and timeline is thoughtful, realistic, and creative. It is based on the strengths of your organization and ours, and it lays out a clear path to a successful launch of the redesigned Resolve Philly website.
  5. Lastly, a strong cultural fit with our organization and our team is very important to us.