POYLatam is a photography competition for photographers based in Latin America. It is a volunteer-run organization operated by a group of photographers and educators passionate about recognizing the powerful photographs and stories about Latin America.
I was approached to redesign POYLatam’s existing web presence beginning with the 2017 competition. Requirements included, among others: Create an archive of previous winners, galleries of the current competition’s winners, the ability to showcase award-winning work as they were announced and give potential donors information about the competition.
Art Direction, Visual Design, Interaction Design
Developer, Project Manager
Process + Thinking
Kim and I worked closely together from the beginning. We spent a lot of time going over the existing POYLatam web presence and hashed out what content would remain and what needed to be developed. This gave us a possible list of functionality and interactions we would need to incorporate into the new design. We needed to be sure the website addressed the business needs of POYLatam and what visitors would want throughout the competition’s cycle.
Sketching and sitemaps were critical to getting a solid understanding of the different content types and content relationships. I had to create more than one to wrap my head around the depth of the awards and how a visitor might interact with the website. The site would also evolve when the competition was live. How would the structure evolve and accommodate announcements and a live video stream?
Kim and I shared many photography competition websites we felt were direct or indirect competitors to POYLatam. There are numerous photography competitions but POYLatam has built a reputation as a professional photojournalism competition. We decided that POYLatam.org should be on par with the visual sophistication of the most prestigious photojournalism competitions but tailored to our resources.
Our timeline to launch was tight so we agreed to skip wireframes. I dove straight into high-fidelity mockups using Sketch. As a remote team — Ecuador, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Turkey — we used Dropbox and Slack to communicate, identify tasks, delivery of content, QA, and launch.
For the 2017 competition, Facebook Live played a major role in allowing people from around the world to tune-in and engage while judging occurred in real-time. Leading up to the competition, Twitter and Mailchimp were also used to encourage photographers to enter, raise awareness of the competition, the photography, and communicate the latest news.
Moving forward, we will continue to finesse and optimize the website. The website is still a work in progress and I'm proud of what we created in a short about of time. POYLatam has a strong foundation for its online presence and I am looking forward to implementing improvements for the next iteration.