The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s education site Annenberg Classroom, extensively redesigned and relaunched on President’s Day, has been honored for its design and functionality.
On June 18, the site was commended with “Special Kudos” from a panel of judges with the CSS Design Awards (CSSDA), a web design and development award platform that honors freelance designers, studios and agencies. Annenberg Classroom also was honored by a public vote for best UI design, best UX design, and best innovation. According to CSSDA, UI refers to user interface design such as aesthetics and effects, UX as user experience and functionality, and innovation as the use of new development and design ideas.
Annenberg Classroom was redesigned by the Annenberg Public Policy Center web development team: senior designer Zachary Reese, senior video producer Daniel Corkery, web developer Ruthie Fields, and IT/AV/web director Gary Gehman.
Reese said the site’s striking and original illustrated style, designed to stand out from more traditional social studies sites, was inspired by its funder, Leonore Annenberg, who with her husband, former Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg, endowed the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC).
“Mrs. Annenberg and her husband gifted their collection of Impressionist art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Reese said. “That meant that, as part of the Met’s Open Access initiative, high-res images of their entire art collection were available under a Creative Commons Zero license. I made the choice to incorporate textures and samples from these paintings as the unifying theme for Annenberg Classroom’s illustrations.”
The design team chose to use the site’s front page as an index for the complete site, meeting the needs of teachers who’d like to see “everything all at once,” and keep interior pages simple. Teachers can browse the materials by a number of different taxonomies, Reese added, such as the type of media, Supreme Court decision, constitutional amendment, topic, etc.
Annenberg Classroom provides a comprehensive multimedia curriculum on the Constitution. It offers free, award-winning classroom resources including 65 videos on constitutional concepts and Supreme Court cases, games, lesson plans, downloadable books, a glossary, and a guide to the Constitution.
Annenberg Classroom is a project of the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan program of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, in partnership with The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.