The Karel Fellowship

The ChallengeKarel Logo

The Frank Karel Fellowship in Public Interest Communications seeks out young students with a passion for public interest communications and brings them to Washington D.C. for a summer to work with real organizations. It helps young leaders get hands-on experience in professional communications. When the organization came to Flying Dog, however, they had a problem: they needed a website to promote the program, they needed it to be able to handle and accept applications to the program, and they needed it all within a few weeks.


The Solution

We started with a conversation about what the Karel Fellowship was really about and determined that a central idea that they wanted to convey was a focus on the fellows and the energy and optimism. So a primary design focus was to highlight the fellows and put them front and center on the home page. To underscore that focus, we wanted the site to feel bright and warm. This paired well with desire to complement the style and colors of the larger Frank Karel Foundation organization website, frank. After that, we dug into the form itself, using Gravity Forms to build a user-friendly system for allowing students to apply. The design was complete within a month, and now, a year later, the website showcases the class of fellows who were assembled in 2015 with the new website, and continues to recruit fellows for 2016.

A focus on the fellows

The home page features a bold, bright image of the current Karel Fellows, along with he prominent call to action to recruit for the next years’ class. It does two things at the same time: humanizes the program, while focusing visitors on the call to apply for the next year.

Home page sample screen shot

Telling their stories

In 2015, we added a new section to highlight the stories of each fellow, in their own words. Each post highlights the fellow and shows their photo, reinforcing that the program is about these young people and their dedication to public interest communications.

Blog page sample

An easy application form

Before this site was created, the application process was a tedious mix of forms and attachments. With the new site, we built a easy-to-use, multi-page form that allowed applicants to upload letters of recommendations, resumes, and photos. And for the fellowship administrators, it allowed for instant notification when new applications had been submitted and made it easy to review them within website.

Home page sample screen shot

Designed from day one to play nice with small screens

As always, we worked to make sure the new design was responsive and would look great on screens and devices of any size.

Karel Fellowship Site on Smaller Screens

Visit the live site

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