Canadian based charity, Be There, is leveraging the
true benefits of a digital experience platform to power
their award-winning online platform.
Be There is the world's most comprehensive and engaging online resource for young people to learn how to support each other through a mental health struggle. It's a standalone digital environment where people of all ages can find answers to their questions without distraction.
Be There was created by Jack.org, which is Canada's only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health.
Be There came about when the creators of the resource, Jack.org, surveyed 1,200 young people across Canada. 83% said they supported a friend struggling with their mental health. Only 39% of them felt they were adequately prepared to offer the support that was needed.
That gap has enormous implications. A person struggling in silence finally builds up the courage to ask for help and are met with people that have no idea how to support them. At best, it causes a lot of awkward conversations. At worst, it cuts off help-seeking as soon as it begins or allows a well-intentioned person to say or do something that causes more harm than good.
As leaders in youth mental health, Jack.org knew Canada youth needed better education; an open and accessible space where anyone can go to learn how to be there for their loved ones when they're struggling. To fill this gap, they embarked on their most ambitious project yet. Through consultation with over 1,400 young people from across Canada, BeThere.org was created, the world's most comprehensive and engaging online resource for young people to learn how to support each other through mental health struggle.
Canada's youth are extremely tech-savvy so the website couldn't be too gimmicky but still needed to be powerful. A tight four-month timeline to meet the client’s ambitious goals meant the website had to be designed, developed and launched very quickly.
Some novel challenges encountered included the need for the ability for users to share links that target to a page model and cross-browser compatibility. It was necessary to have a strong Information Architecture supported by great UX that would allow users to flow from one golden rule to the next. Backed by a strong marketing campaign, the website was expected to have a heavy traffic load which needed to be considered throughout the development.
Kentico allowed A.K.A. to meet the ambitious timeline for the BeThere.org website because its robust infrastructure allowed the team to easily reuse components and strategies to gain traction and permitted rapid application development while allowing the team to focus on the novel challenges that came up.
The A.K.A. team relied on Kentico's mature product, including the Caching Mechanisms to handle the campaign load which helped manage Be There’s heavy traffic. A.K.A. took advantage of the Kentico Marketplace to supply prebuilt components that increased the speed of development, specifically the Pages Navigation part that was leveraged for the Golden Rules area of the site.
- AKA raisin
- Google Analytics
- Custom Pages
- Page Templates
- Online Forms
- Files (content repository, attachments), Images (editor, library) Video (embed)
- Media Library
- Custom URL Aliases
- Google Sitemap
- HTML Code Optimization
- Rich Text Editor
Apart from the sitemap, all these features were implemented on virtually every page of the Be There website. Kentico allowed the A.K.A team to quickly, easily and elegantly implement all these features
The result was a best-in-class website that has garnished significant international attention.
The website won two Webby Awards for the Best Health Website in the world. Judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), the Webby's have been called the Internet's highest honor by the New York Times, and brought in nearly 13,000 entries from 70 countries in 2020. All nominees were eligible to win a People’s Voice Award, which was voted for online by fans across the globe and a Webby Award which was carefully chosen by the IADAS. A.K.A. was honored to take home both the Webby Award and the People’s Voice Award and was the only Canadian nominee to be honored with both awards. A.K.A. joins an impressive lineup of 2020 Webby winners, including, ESPN, Google, National Geographic, Forbes Media, Spotify and many well-established technology and innovation leaders who’s awards were presented by celebrities including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Miley Cyrus and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Since the launch, Be There has partnered with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation because they have both found through research, surveys, and countless conversations with young people that they want to be there for their friends and their own mental health, but they report lacking reliable access to helpful support. Kentico has empowered Be There to manage their own web presence which was extremely important as it is such an active and evolving resource.
Analytics support this significant attention that was gained through Jack.org’s strong marketing campaign, the Webby Award wins and the collaboration with the Born This Way Foundation, showing over 300,000 unique visitors in just the first half of 2020 alone. The websites excellent User Experience was supported by Kentico’s robust infrastructure and was proven through Analytics recording that as much as 25% of visitors were returning visitors with a significant number of users spending more than 3 minutes browsing the website.
As a project manager with limited experience in web design or development, I found Kentico to be a very intuitive tool in managing our website, BeThere.org
With a limited web maintenance budget, I really appreciate how much of both the written and visual content I can edit and manage myself. I also love how easy it is to toggle between the French and English versions of our site and to access data submitted through the website's forms.