Child Mind Institute

Connecting families with evidence-based resources and care to transform kids’ mental health

User Experience, Branding, Web Design
Agency: Constructive


Child Mind Institute is a global leader in children’s mental health care, research and education

I was the lead designer for the information architecture and visual design for the new website. Some of the project challenges were: 

  • The old website's structure made it confusing to accessing mental health resources and care options
  • The outdated Content Management System limited the editorial team's vision and ability to make related content connections.
  • The new site needed to reach a wider more inclusive audience with a focus on rural, low-income, and latinx audiences.

One of main project objectives was to create more pathways for families to connect with the right mental health resources. We acomplished this through a new Resource Finder, Connect to Care page, and updated topic pages.

Prototyping & User Testing

The information architecture was deeply informed by several research key activities:

  • Developed analytics insights based their current traffic and conversion goals
  • Audit the current content (over 2000 articles and guides)
  • Develop audiences personas and journey mapping
  • Stakeholder workshops and interviews

We developed and tested wireframes based on their digital service design, mapping people who are curious about children mental health to actively booking appointments and sharing helpful resources. Our wireframes were influenced directly through several rounds of user testing, ensuring the right audience knew exactly where to access the right information

Content Migration

We made an extensive spreadsheet outlining all the content-types and taxonomies on the current and new site's Wordpress backend.

This allowed the client, project team, and external developers to be on the same page about content requirements. And we knew what exactly we needed to migrate to the new site, which saved a lot of time cause CMI had over 2,500 existing articles and guides. 

A New Design System

Establishing the New Brand System

The design was rooted in design principles that we co-created with the CMI team. We choose type families that express a friendly brand tone and are utilitarian enough to support long-form digital publishing.

We created a new color system and illustration style called 'Growth Rings' that expressed emotion while still feeling rational and bright.

Getting Families the Right Care

A New Family Resource Center

The main focus of the project was to create a new resource portal for families to help support children who are struggling with mental health, behavior, or learning challenges.

The largest audience challenge was understanding different audience’s emotions to getting the right care. Some families are more comfortable talking about care, while others feel worried and uncertain. We created a positive ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ experience that allows people to access the right resources in different ways. 


The Symptom Checker allows families to connect symptoms with resources while The Resource Finder is a 5 minute quiz that focuses on concerns.


The Article and Guides have a Quick Read version that provides a ‘bite-size’ version of the full content. The pages also have helpful UI components like table of contents, reading progress bar, text-to-speech tool


A fully custom spanish translation

A multilingual full site experience was a major step into creating a more inclusive experience for Latinx families. Every page of the site is custom translated by the CMI’s Spanish team, allowing important care information to be communicated by native speakers, not an automatic AI translation.

Performance Metrics

The Results speaks for themselves

The new site launched September 2021 and has been praised as a success across Child Mind Institute and the families they help. The Child Mind Institute website was awarded a 2022 Webby Awards Honoree for Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit Websites and Mobile Sites

The analytics also point that the site has extensively increased its reach to more families

  • Organic Traffic jumped up to a +33.15% YOY increase after the redesign.
  • The Resource Center main page and Topics now have about +67% more page views than before.
  • Articles have experienced a +18% increase in page views.
  • The site had a +14.9% increase in the number of visits from Spanish Speaking users.

  • Page loads are 31% faster
  • Users are more likely to visit the Request for an Appointment form (+486% increase in views) which also shows in the increased number of conversions.

  • Significant Donations conversion rate improvement (+39.88% YOY)

Design should be durable

I can help you with all your design needs.

Some of my past clients have been uChicago, The Child Mind Institute, Columbia University, FrameWorks Institute, National Constitution Center, The Legal Aid Society, eso dental and Dorchester Brewery.

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Doug Knapton 2022   |   Instagram   |   LinkedIn