The Center for Discovery

A Flexible Multisite Solution for a Multifaceted Non-Profit

The Center for Discovery home page


The Center for Discovery (TCFD) stands as a beacon of multifaceted care and innovative research for individuals with disabilities. To reach their target audience, they needed a robust digital platform capable of illustrating their revolutionary contributions to the persons they support and the local community.


Initiating a comprehensive series of discovery activities, we discerned the aspirations of stakeholders, identified inherent challenges, and assessed the current technological infrastructure. Understanding their content editors’ desire for more versatility in curating custom pages, we implemented a component-based system that enhances storytelling and highlights program offerings beyond their previous basic text editors and inline images.


A sophisticated WordPress multisite network tailored to accommodate TCFD’s dynamic digital ecosystem. This redesign ensures seamless navigation between the primary website and its associated microsites while providing their team with the design tools to craft engaging stories that resonate with potential donors, policymakers, and researchers who want to support people with disabilities.

Transforming the lives of those disabilities

Spread over 1,500 acres in the Mid-Hudson Region, The Center for Discovery® (TCFD) is a prominent research and specialty institution providing residential, medical, clinical, and special education programs to children and adults with disabilities.

Attracting individuals worldwide, TCFD is renowned for its cutting-edge care and pioneering research addressing an array of complex conditions. With its legacy of innovation in curriculum development, program inception, and assistive technology, The Center has consistently spearheaded transformative breakthroughs and life-changing opportunities.

Moving forward

Although TCFD has a rich history spanning nearly seven decades, its former website fell short in effectively conveying the organization's transformative work and societal impact. Challenges related to user navigation and accessibility obstructed access to critical information, such as details about programs, research endeavors, and resources for families. The culmination of these online obstacles adversely affected the ability to attract in-person visits to The Center.

Following our initial meeting with their team, we were chosen to redesign the organization's website to establish a digital foundation capable of evolving alongside the organization.

Uncovering key insights

Our strategists conducted a discovery phase to ensure our recommended solution would best fit within The Center’s existing infrastructure. We took inventory of all existing content, content types, quantity, and distribution and analyzed the site’s metrics to uncover visitor traffic and patterns. During this process, we found that most visits to the site were on mobile devices, which indicated that to meet user's needs, changes to enhance the mobile experience were of the utmost priority.

We also conducted a survey and facilitated a virtual workshop with The stakeholder team to better understand their challenges and future objectives. Feedback from these exercises emphasized the critical need for a content restructure to authentically portray TCFD’s diverse facets and ensure they’re readily accessible to online visitors. Moreover, the content editors expressed a desire for greater flexibility in storytelling to encourage donations.

Moodboards for TCFD

Bolstering engagement through design

Our UI designers got to work on incorporating additional design elements to help extend the organization’s existing brand and strengthen its visual identity. Some of these additions included patterns for page backgrounds like a grid of dots, radiating lines, and swirls. 

We utilized image masks (cutting out backgrounds from images) to create dynamic areas of photos overlaid onto color fields or other background images, like in the homepage hero area. Since this approach only works with specific photo compositions, our team sifted through TCFD's extensive photo archives to identify suitable examples. We then established templates, guidelines, and processes for their content editors to create image masks of their own.

Finally, while orange is TCFD's foundational color, its extended palette includes shades of blue, violet, teal, and gray. To further enrich the brand's online expression, we designated these colors to specific sections on the website, each representing different aspects of the organization. Furthermore, we empowered content editors with the tools to infuse components and design elements with this varied color range.

TCFD brand colors

Empowering content creators

A pivotal aspect of the redesign was equipping their team with the tools to effortlessly produce compelling content. We implemented a component-based system that elevates storytelling capabilities and emphasizes program offerings, transcending basic text editors and inline images to meet this goal. The system utilizes custom post types and rich visual components like videos, hover cards, and calls to action (among others) to maintain design uniformity while allowing content to be shared between the different sites.

TCFD services header
TCFD home page
Sharing the latest stories on TCFD

Restructuring for the future with a multisite approach

In taking on this project, we were also responsible for developing two microsites: Resources and Giving.

Resources Microsite

The Resource Hub features expertly designed virtual training videos, resources, and other materials to support school districts, families, caregivers, and other providers. Our teams worked together to ideate and implement a system where users can filter content by topic or search using keywords to find the information they need.  

Giving Microsite

The Giving Microsite offers a variety of donation options for those who want to help support the organization’s mission. These include planned giving, unrestricted gifts, gifts for a specific purpose, and gifts that come via an explicit avenue – stock, insurance, land, etc.

To ensure a successful and accessible navigational experience between these unique spaces and to establish a logical hierarchy for all existing and future content, we leveraged a WordPress Multisite Network. This setup allows the primary site, the Resource Hub, and the Give/Donation microsite to operate under a unified WordPress installation, sharing a single database, user base, and plugins. This approach offers TCFD the adaptability for introducing new microsites, like the anticipated Children's Specialty Hospital in 2023, and simplifies maintenance.

A digital experience that emulates the Center

Nothing can truly encapsulate the physical experience of being at The Center for Discovery, but with their new website, they can now represent that feeling to potential donors, staff, researchers, and families. Most importantly, they have a solid foundation to continue transforming lives through research, innovation, and economic development.