The International Awards Associates (IAA) released their list of winners for the 2022 Season 1 Vega Digital Awards, in which four projects completed by Clarity Partners were recognized as winners.   We received accolades for our work on behalf of the Project Rainbow (Cook County Government), The University of Chicago Gagliardi Group, Metra Rail, and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (CCCCC).

About the Websites

Project Rainbow – Cook County Government, Website Redesign (Canopus Winner)

Clarity was chosen to build Project Rainbow, a website which hosts the new Cook County initiative that seeks to address learning loss magnified by COVID-19 by curating and creating free early childhood and family oriented educational programming and through the development of Cook County’s first-ever mobile app.  Through this initiative, Cook County and its Project Rainbow partners will produce new or repurpose existing informative and educational content for children and families.  Building the website was the first step in the process to introduce this new initiative to Cook County residents.  The mobile application will be the next phase of this project, launching later in 2022.

Gagliardi Group – University of Chicago, Website Redesign (Centaur Winner)

The University of Chicago Gagliardi Group is a research group with graduate and postdoctoral research fellows engaged in molecular chemistry and engineering. As a semi-independent research group within the greater University of Chicago and its Department of Chemistry, it conducts research in the global scientific community and engages with other non-academic sectors, funding agencies, and recruits prospective graduate students and research fellows from the top universities all over the world. As a result, the Group has a public-facing aspect, in which its website plays a critical for its broader community engagement, promotion and branding.

The Group chose Clarity to overhaul its website, including user interface and user experience. New layout, navigation, and images were part of this project in order to convey an appealing visual representation of the Group to the wider public.

This was a major design and branding effort that also included logo development, a new set of icons, and consistent branding along with resultant brand guidelines. The newly designed site also has some additional dynamic visual elements and an updated, responsive mobile design. Additional functionality added to the site also included a simple (password protected) document store accessible for all members of the Group and an events calendar plug-in.

Metra Rail – Website Redesign & Accessibility Compliance (Arcturus Winner)

The new Metra site is considered the first step in a transformation in how Metra will communicate with users. The design is clean and simple, with an effort to improve the experience for mobile users (who represent two-thirds of visitors) and, more importantly, customers with visual disabilities. The site is in Level AAA compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Recognizing that most website visitors are looking for service and schedule information, links to that information are prominent at the top of the homepage (and, in fact, every other page). Initially, the service information is being presented as it was displayed on the old site. By the end of this year, however, customers can expect to see that information in a new format, which is being developed in conjunction with a completely new and substantially upgraded GPS train-tracking and communications system. That new system will greatly improve Metra service communications.

The remainder of the website is primarily focused on customer-centric content and telling the story of My Metra, with features highlighting riders, employees, history, and behind-the-scenes looks. Transparency is important, so we continue to provide links to data, budgets, reports, studies, news, board meeting information and other important information.

Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (CCCCC) (Arcturus Winner)

The CCCCC was seeking a vendor to provide website hosting and content management solution implementation.  The existing implementation was an interim solution that needed to be replaced by a more stable foundation that would allow for more timely content updates as well as future enhancements and expansion as needed.  By leveraging the Cook County site’s existing Acquia tools, including Cloud Hosting, Site Factory, and Site Studio, we were also able to utilize many existing features of Acquia and Drupal, rapidly establishing a robust Drupal site with access to Acquia’s flexible Site Studio content management tools.

About the Vega Digital Awards

Vega Digital Awards seeks to recognize and honors the outstanding performance, talent, and effort of the best digital and creative professionals, web developers, web designers, and web agencies around the world.  Vega also searches out the future brightest stars of the digital media universe, to reward and encourage the young people who will create the future of digital communications.

About IAA

International Awards Associate (IAA) believes that recognition of creative professionals plays a crucial role in the growth of communities, and the economy as a whole. Our organization is composed of award-winning communications professionals, who are dedicated to searching out the exceptionally creative “stars” and to give them the recognition they deserve.