YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties

Website migration with an extensive function overhaul to improve the user experience

YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties set off to strengthen its communities and connect its people through activities and events. They create opportunities for people to thrive in an inclusive, open environment. Five Jars was hired to help them achieve this mission online – through an overhaul of their website and by integrating sophisticated, new functions.




Launched a website within short timeline



Simplified sitemap from over than 3,200 pages


Increase in avg. session duration

Improved average session duration by 10%


Lowered bounce rate

Lowered bounce rate from 40% to 35%

A new user interface facilitating interaction

At the very beginning of this journey, Five Jars had been assessing the user requirements and the user journeys. With this understanding of what the client and its users expect as well as how they use the platform, we have chosen a ready-made theme of the Open Y environment and adapted it to the client’s and users’ requirements. By choosing a readily available theme, Five Jars was able to fulfill the budget constraint of YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties while offering their users the most sophisticated user interface possible.

Before and after

Earlier, the website had over 3,200 pages, and it was quite difficult to manage. We significantly simplified the structure of the website. Now it supports nine community centers, a virtual experience platform, and several offices, including the association’s office, the Center for Community Impact, child care offices, and a recent news page making content editing easier.

Improved user-centricity across the online presence
Customized theme implementation below maximum budget
Made mobile-friendly website

Open Y migration with future updates in mind

YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties has been an eager Open Y community member. However, without having done any major update to their old website, their technology environment became outdated and error-prone. Five Jars was hired to update their entire website in order to enable the running of all the necessary functionality. By updating their entire web presence, Five Jars introduced a user-centric approach to creating seamless user journeys.

For the migration to be successful, our developers focused on three main goals:

  • Create a system with which updating to future versions is timely and financially efficient
  • Re-structure their website to increase the user experience
  • Add modern sought-after functionalities to the website such as brand new program registration process, online membership and single sign-on
Improved functionality fostering user awareness
Decreased maintenance costs
Introduced agile methods to foster future improvement by the client

Schedules for a great number of events

As typical for YMCA’s, our client offers an extensive range of various events and activities such as workouts. The old website of YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties used a cumbersome list of events and places where these events take place. Five Jars’ developers recognized the tremendous impact a sophisticated scheduling page with the necessary functionality will have on the community – and our client. Therefore, our developers created a modern and intuitive page providing a simple overview over all upcoming events. We even went a step further and implemented a filtering functionality to simplify the way users search and find their desired content.

Scheduling page
Simplified the organization of events leading to increased registrations
Decreased time required to add new events through intuitive backend
Simplified the schedules search journey

A website for the community

Consisting of many branches and locations, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties offers varying content depending on a user’s location. Our developers were asked to enable users to find relevant content based on their location. Five Jars recognized that, while a certain part of content will vary from location to location, most of the content will be identical. We solved this challenge by developing specific filters and location pages where each and every user can choose their preferred location to see specific information such as opening hours of the community center and more. This approach keeps the website of YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties efficient and structured. When we had started with this migration project, we already knew that the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties will require a single sign-on solution to satisfy its members. To create a seamless solution, we have integrated TractionRec into their environment. By integrating TractionRec, we not only harnessed the power of Salesforce Single Sign-On, upon which TractionRec depends for its proper functioning but also made the personal account easily accessible from any website page.

Coherent presence across the organization
Increased user engagement by mapping user journeys
Improved accessibility of localized information

Program registrations made easy

We’ve mentioned it already – there are many great events and courses taking place. Five Jars was working hard on simplifying the search process through which a user finds the most suitable workout or event. Our solution: The Activity Finder.

Activity finder

Integrated into the website, we’ve created a tool that enables users to indicate their age, day and time, location, and what kind of activity they like. Our Activity Finder will then return the most suitable activities fulfilling their personal constraints. Moreover, the activity finder not only helps users to discover relevant events but also simplifies the registration process through a couple-clicks registration!

Custom software fostering user engagement
Reduced the required support of the client to guide user through the process
Made Program Registration process accessible on mobile

Migration for the future

Five Jars migrated and overhauled an existing website to harness the power of sophisticated functionalities such as single sign-on and data analytics. One of the overarching goals, however, was to foster efficient updating in the future. As our client is a community-focused non-profit organization, a cost-efficient updating process is a must. Therefore, our developers created synergies wherever possible and created an intuitive user interface as well as a backend to simplify all processes. In addition to that, we migrated the entire content onto the new website and demonstrated the data analytics capabilities to our client.

Join page

Deadline: One month

Such a project usually requires several months until completion. However, due to unique circumstances, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties required the new website to be live within four weeks at the latest. Our developer went above and beyond everything to ensure our client the timely completion of their new web presence.

Long-term collaboration and further improvements

YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties has been entirely satisfied with our transparent approach and trustworthiness. They have been praising their final website on several occasions, namely a monthly web streaming event available here on YouTube as well as on Clutch.co.

Eventually, our collaboration resulted in a long-term collaboration. By living up to the user-centricity and client-centricity, we put unique requirements at the center point of the project.

Five Jars is truly a driver of success. Communication is important for any organization embarking on a project like this, and the Five Jars team is an incredible communicator. On top of that, their project management chops are some of the best ones I’ve ever experienced. Their support services are impressive; if there’s ever an issue, they deliver 24/7 support. Whether it’s an issue on the website or a hosting concern, they support us in every way, shape, or form. They’re absolutely outstanding.

© Kimberly Schulz, Senior Digital Experience Director, YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counties

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