Kenji Ross

est. 1980; internets since 1998

Kashi site redesign

summer 2007

my role
The Barbarian Group

An exciting client came to The Barbarian Group in early 2007, the likes of which we had never worked with before. It was Kashi, the health food/whole grains brand, looking to make better use of their rather staid, ordinary online presence. We knew just what they needed.

Building a better showcase for their cereal and dinner foods was only the tip of the iceberg. In order to really build the kind of trust and goodwill that's so important to this kind of brand, we suggested a then-radical plan: build not just healthy products, but a healthy community, and the brand loyalty will follow.

To do this, we built extensive seasonal promotions, events with web tie-ins, working with their print and TV agencies. Most importantly, we laid the foundation for a mutually-supportive community with our Challenges program. Users were challenged to take small, healthy steps each day, through a series of simple challenges. Their progress was charted (both individually and community-wide), and with just that little bit of peer pressure, people actually started making healthy changes.

The effort was a huge success. Even today, the Challenges section of the site remains a huge draw, with hundreds of people signing up to recycle their coffee grounds and build rainwater barrels.

I contributed to the initial site strategy and built the XHTML interface from scratch, working closely with a team of Rails developers. Though there hasn't been a comprehensive redesign since our deploy, the site has evolved over the years to the point where very little of my code remains. You can, however, look at some of my early template work for the 2007 homepage and Wellness Hub.