CITRIS And The Banatao Institute
From 862 Pages to One Cohesive Site: CITRIS's Intuitive Digital Home
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The Project

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute is a University of California research center that develops information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. When COVID-19 shifted their focus away from in-person events, the new website empowered them to move their storytelling online.

They needed a new website to communicate their complex work to everyone, from legislators to students. 

Kalamuna created a new visual expression for the website that matched their cutting-edge work and built them an intuitive and flexible admin experience in WordPress, with robust microsite support for their research programs.

The Big Goal

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute innovates research-driven solutions that benefit humanity. While their work spans four UC campuses, their home at UC Berkeley is equipped with extensive laboratory space, including an innovation and nanofabrication lab.

They needed a website and solution that would carry the impact of their work into the future, adapt to the institution, and speak to their core audiences. A more intuitive site structure, unified brand expression, and intuitive experience for everyone visiting the CITRIS website were paramount to the project’s success.

Help audiences find critical information.
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CITRIS came to us with an 862-page site that served nine distinct audiences, including researchers, corporate partners, donors, legislators, students, and more. We worked with CITRIS to define each audience’s goals when visiting the website. The site’s structure was a top priority. Through content mapping and wireframing key pages, we transformed a complex web of audiences and goals into a single, intuitive experience for everyone.

Inspired by the client's print materials, we created their brand expression for the web. We kept usability front and center, offering users lots of white space and clean text, making the site easy to scan and a pleasure to read. We brought contemporary visual elements to align with their ambition for a visionary and inspiring web presence.

Support multiple microsites
wireframe of multiple microsites

CITRIS wanted to consolidate the many spinoff sites their campuses and researchers had created. Along with reducing their overreliance on third-party platforms, they wanted to start owning their content again.

We created a rich microsite approach that could be adapted to each program’s needs. Each included a clear and prominent sub-navigation to easily navigate between multiple content pages and flexible elements like card layouts to feature unique content. We clarified how the microsites would impact their sitemap and included flexibility for microsites to be easily added or removed over time.

Build a flexible website that adapts with the institution

CITRIS needed their new website to be both usable and future-proof, allowing their content to evolve with their innovative work. And, as we learned their site was more like a database than a brochure, we knew search would be essential.

Our technical discovery uncovered many unused or inactive plugins. When architecting their new site, we limited the build to essential plugins maintained by reputable developers. We powered their site search with Relevanssi to intelligently return results from multiple document and data types, including custom fields, post types, users, and even PDF files.

Along with the external user experience, we considered CITRIS’ content admins in every development decision. We set up an intuitive and thoughtful back-end, leveraging taxonomies to automatically cross-promote content across the website and automatically keep content fresh.

Look to the future
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We created a modern, user-centric web platform that will carry the impact of CITRIS’s work forward for years to come. Since its launch in the fall of 2020, the CITRIS team has been empowered to adapt to the unexpected without our assistance. From shifting research programs to moving their programs online due to the pandemic, they’ve kept their web presence seamlessly aligned with their work.

“Working with the Kalamuna team was great! I really appreciate the thoughtfulness that went behind all of the decision-making. The most valuable outcome of our partnership is our user-friendly website!”

– Kat Madrigal Cheng
Interim Communications Director, CITRIS