The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) is a public, nonprofit organization that assists its 15 member communities, which includes Amesbury, Andover, and Newbury, in the planning areas of transportation, environment, land use, economic development, and geographic information systems (GIS).

MVPC approached GraVoc to redesign their website to make it more dynamic, visual, and browsable. A big focus was on improving content discovery so community members could easily search the MVPC website for programs, resources, and more. We also provided MVPC with drone videography and interactive web toolkit development to further enhance the visual experience and usability of the website.

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The MVPC website is built on WordPress, allowing for a fast and responsive user experience.

We started off by restructuring the MVPC site navigation. Our team developed an expansive mega menu that neatly accommodates and shows all the webpages. The mega menu enhances site exploration by allowing users to easily see all MVPC’s programs and resources at once. This makes it easier for site visitors to both discover new content and find what they’re looking for. In addition, we also added advanced site search across the website. Using this search functionality, customers can directly input their queries and get a detailed, targeted list of search results.

The website is also ADA compliant. We implemented functionality that allows site visitors to choose an accessibility profile that is the right fit and adjust their browsing experience. We also implemented a translation plugin for WordPress to ensure the website can reach MVPC’s community of Spanish and other multilingual speakers.

Together, the mega menu, search bar, ADA compliant features, and translation functionality strongly enhance the usability of the website, and make it accessible to a wide audience.

Our team then incorporated MVPC’s bold blue and green color palette across the website, with yellow accents to draw user attention to call-to-action buttons. We also added more visually engaging, creative elements to the homepage, such as icons and a video banner. The homepage video was shot and produced by GraVoc’s drone pilot. The stunning video showcases different locations around Merrimack Valley, including the environmental, transportation, and economic elements of the region. On the homepage, site visitors get an overview of MVPC’s key program areas, events, and announcements.

The mega menu provides easy navigation paths for site visitors to get to any of MVPC’s many spacious, content-rich program webpages. In addition to designing these browsable program webpages, our team also developed the interactive Greenscapes Model Bylaw Toolkit for the MVPC website. The Greenscapes model bylaw toolkit is meant to assist municipalities in finding model language related to stormwater mitigation and climate resiliency for Zoning, Subdivision, Planning Board, and Stormwater codes.

The toolkit has a user-friendly interface resembling a web form. Based on their selections on the interactive form, users get specific model language options for their goal and subgoal interests. Users can also input their email to receive their model language output.


Besides the program webpages, we also created a ‘Resource Center’ that houses the MVPC’s data portal and interactive maps. These webpages offer user-friendly visual representations of the MVPC region’s robust demographic and economic data. Our team embedded data from MVPC’s third-party data tools for these resource webpages.

Finally, we also created an ‘About MVPC’ section with webpages that showcase the organization’s Commissioners and staff. These webpages include a headshot, contact information, and biography of each MVPC team member  – which lends to the credibility of the organization. In this section, we also added a searchable events calendar so site visitors can browse and find relevant events.

We are thrilled with the final look and feel of the new and expanded MVPC website! The mega menu and advanced search functionality make it much easier for site visitors to browse and navigate the website to find relevant programs and resources. And, the website is much more visually engaging, informational, and interactive with the addition of the Greenscapes toolkit, video homepage banner, and other data charts. Our team looks forward to working with MVPC on future creative projects!

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