Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) is the economic development agency for the City of Memphis, Tennessee and Shelby County. Founded on the mission to establish a secure foundation for Memphis’s economic future, EDGE coordinates resources to foster economic growth in Shelby County and the Memphis area. They nurture job growth, attract investments, restore neighborhoods, and provide assistance to small businesses.
EDGE’s efforts provide tangible value to the city and our community. However, their impact was not effectively reflected in their online presence. The decision-makers at EDGE knew they needed a new website to further their mission and make their services accessible to members of the community.
The choice to partner with Memphis-based Sauce Agency was a natural one. Team Sauce and EDGE share more than just a zip code—we share a mutual passion for Memphis’s growth. Team Sauce knew we could give EDGE the responsive, accessible, user-friendly online platform it needed to promote investment in the Memphis area. EDGE had a tight timeline to launch their new website, and Sauce was ready to make it happen.
EDGE’s old website was not designed for optimal user experience, and it failed to highlight the work the organization does so well. Visitors to the website were left confused and frustrated by the effort it took to find the information they sought.
Overall, the site lacked consistency and cohesiveness—some pages bombarded visitors with oversized images and minimal explanatory text, while other pages contained paragraphs of dense explanations. Key points on how important programs worked—and how local small business owners could apply for these programs—were buried in large blocks of text that few people read.
Due to a locked down back-end built on a proprietary CMS, the team at EDGE could only access and update blog content, and nothing else. EDGE has been nationally recognized and awarded repeatedly for superior transparency in tracking and charting their economic development efforts, so being able to share and update information quickly and accurately was crucial for them. For an organization that provides a public database for the community and prizes accountability, having an accessible, responsive website wasn’t just a want—it was a necessity.
For Team Sauce, the mission was clear from the beginning: to create a website that represented EDGE’s mission fully, and to maximize EDGE’s community impact through an enhanced online user experience.
Website Design & Development
The visitor experience was a priority for our web designers as they constructed EDGE’s new site navigation. Implementing strategic site logic for a frictionless user experience, Team Sauce developed a responsive, accessible website. Throughout the entire process, from wireframe to mockup and build, we kept our focus set on a refined and elevated user experience.
Since a rebrand was not part of our scope of work, Team Sauce matched the intent of the logo with a contemporary, future-forward design that reflected the growth-driven mindset of the economic development group. The site boasts clean lines, strategic use of negative space, high contrast, and sans serif fonts to tell a visual story that is thoroughly modern and deeply established. Images of local businesses, community members, and projects temper the contemporary aesthetic with an empathetic appeal rooted in the local community.
Custom Database Development
In what proved to be the most complex portion of the engagement, Team Sauce facilitated the development of a custom database, showcasing each project that EDGE has supported across its six programs, and providing vital transparency into the allocation of taxpayer funds and the return on the City’s investment. This interactive database serves as a digital representation of the important work EDGE accomplishes for Memphis and Shelby County.
EDGE really walks their talk when it comes to transparency and public service—their board meetings are open to the public, and the community is encouraged to attend. To support their efforts, Team Sauce set up blog functionality to enable Team EDGE to announce and promote their public events, as well as showcase local and national press coverage.
After importing 5+ years of articles and posts, Team Sauce developed training materials to empower Team EDGE to maintain their site in-house.
Baseline SEO & Conversion Integration
Once the navigational framework had been established, Team Sauce conducted keyword research and implemented baseline search engine optimization (SEO) to increase visibility and traffic to the site. We also established the back-end infrastructure to support conversion integration so that data seamlessly translates between a variety of formats.
Today, EDGE’s website is an information hub, database, and force for good in the community. Visitors to the site click through logically placed, visually appealing web pages that reflect the good work EDGE has done in the past and continues to accomplish for Memphis and Shelby County.
The database provides a friction-free user experience that eliminates visitor frustration through improved organization and navigation. Visitors can now quickly locate information about public grants, loans, and more from an easily accessible menu, logic-driven navigation, and robust filtering options.
EDGE’s new website delivers a clean look with a visitor-first approach to content and placement. Visually, the website conveys a consistent message that translates EDGE’s values through the aesthetic makeup of each page and menu.
Finally, the EDGE team can edit and maintain their website without outsourcing to a web developer. Team Sauce set their in-house team up for success with resources, training videos, and a website structure that enables them to edit and add their own content.
Going forward, EDGE has a solid web foundation that amplifies their voice and maximizes their impact. Thanks to Sauce’s future-proofed website build, EDGE is poised to deliver outstanding results to the Memphis community.