ICA Housing is an international organization whose mission is to promote the development of co-operative housing in all countries, and in particular developing countries, as an economic and social contribution to the problem of providing shelter.


Build an easy-to-use multilingual digital system enabling humanitarians around the world to share and translate resources related to the very human need for shelter.

ICA Housing came to the table with multiple non-integrated systems hosted in different locations and environments. Confusion and sometimes frustration was expressed by both public and in-house users.


Through conducting client interviews, creating user personas, wireframing, and an iterative user-centric design process, three core requirements were identified for a successful redesign of the ICA Housing web presence:

  • Unite co-op housing players around the world;
  • Provide a center of reference for sharing articles of importance to housing co-ops; and
  • Build and launch a system that is easy to use, intuitive to learn, and automates translation by machine.

We successfully met these requirements by developing a fully-integrated digital system centered around member-submitted articles.

Beautifully simple design

We started by exploring a series of wireframes tailored to the needs of site users by considering common user goals, for both site administrators and public visitors: it became clear that an online library of articles sorted into six themes would help make finding articles easier and more interactive.

Content Management System

Integrating the designer’s vision for a clean and colourful user interface with the structure imposed by an off-the-shelf solution Dupal, we built a simple yet functional system. Multiple user roles and approval process enabled managers to review submitted articles before they are published.

Custom Member Database

By formalizing member attributes and actions into a custom taxonomy, we build a customized member content type within the CMS, empowering members to contribute and self-manage their own content.