A website redesign making grant application easier

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is a Government of Ontario agency. It awards over $100 million a year in grants and streams to help build healthy and vibrant communities. People in need of funding weren't clear on which grants they were eligible for. This meant a lot of invalid applications were being submitted.

OTF needed a way to clarify its offering so they could be more efficient, and communities could get the help they needed. They also needed a way to measure the impact that their grants were having on communities.


  • Complete website redesign providing clear and accessible content in English and French
  • Reorganized information architecture to simplify and clarify complex user journeys and remove confusion
  • An overhauled visual design that showcased the human impact of the Foundation, including a pattern library
  • A powerful bank of testimonials focusing on the communities improved by OTF grants
  • A series of writing for the web workshops to help ensure the OTF team was able to continue creating accessible, user-focused content

Our methods

The processes of applying for OTF grants was confusing users. We needed to understand how applicants were using the site and where their pain points were.

We conducted internal and external user interviews to give us a clear picture of user needs. Then, we ran usability testing to figure out how existing users expected to find information. This helped us reorganize the IA in a way that aligned with the way users needed information.

We didn't work with the internal application site, but we needed to ensure users knew what was ahead. We introduced clear overviews of the different grants and told applicants what the process ahead involved. We focused on accessible, plain language so information was easier to access for all users.

We also wanted to ensure the site gave the right message to users. OTF is an organization that works exclusively with non-profits to improve communities in Ontario. The new look and feel needed to better showcase this, and work well across different device sizes. Now, prospective applicants are able to read about their options from their mobile device, wherever they have service.

What happened next?

We continue to work with OTF, providing ongoing support for various web projects. Most recently, we built new templates, or content types in Drupal, to help OTF expand their digital offering in a way that is structured and easy to manage.