This website was created to provide a virtual window on the Ranch. Located in rural Texas, this organization serves people with intellectual disabilities from around the nation, so far-flung supporters need a way to keep tabs on Ranch activities. Additionally, the site provides options for making donations, signing up for newsletters and other means of engaging the virtual Ranch community.
The Ranch is a busy place. Something is always going on: hundreds of volunteers and groups visit each year, thousands of plants are grown and sold, and all kinds of events, from dances to sporting competitions, appear regularly on the calendar. Any kind of static site design would be ineffectual for this organization, so the front page features five separate areas of different sizes, where content is regularly replaced. Two large images focus attention on the most interesting or compelling stories; the three underneath provide a place for long-lasting links, primarily focused on online sales, fundraising events or recruitment efforts. Below them, three permanent links draw attention to the blog, online donation and mailing list functions of the site.
Site visitors can purchase the newest garden products, buy tickets to upcoming events and keep tabs on the volunteers, staff and residents that keep the Ranch humming. Each internal page features a large image header to provide visitors with a visual anchor for the copy below. When galleries are needed, small thumbnails change out both images and captions to help visitors see the Ranch more clearly. Sidebar navigation appears and disappears as visitors move from section to section. Many pages are seasonal; too many permanent links would make the navigation cumbersome, so they are added and deleted as need dictates.