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Interactive Annual 16:
information design

Take Me Fishing

Launch Live Site

“The beautifully simple and intuitive design of this site is perfectly in-tune with the spirit of the sport and manages to present a tremendous amount of info without being overwhelming.” —Rachel Pasqua

“I don’t fish. I don’t boat. But damn if I don’t think I know how now. A great organization of information and a nice example for anyone trying to teach somebody or merely indoctrinate them into a shared passion.” —Glen Sheehan

Overview: For an audience of beginners and lapsed and occasional anglers of all ages and lifestyles, this site drives participation in the classic American pastimes of fishing and boating while protecting aquatic resources for future generations. It’s an immense volume of information, with extensive mapping data for fish species (where to find them and what it takes to catch them) and bodies of water (fishing and boating resources that include facility information and user relationships). Key to the site are the interactive map features that rely on ajax and smart server-side database logic to update and filter hundreds of thousands of bodies of water and facilities into smaller datasets that match whatever region is being viewed.

  • • Most of the site is built on standards-based HTML.
  • • The site contains roughly 243 pages, 20 videos, 200 images and 5 interactive Flash games.
  • • received 2.4 million unique visitors during the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s 2009 fiscal year (April 1, 2008-March 31, 2009).

Comments by Colle + McVoy

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “Yes, because we were in competition with every other recreational activity, theme park, movie studio and video game company—all of which pump hundreds of millions of dollars into marketing with the hopes of snagging some of the precious free time and money of consumers.”

How did the audience influence the information design? “We never go beyond five levels deep in the navigation structure and have kept it four wherever possible. The high-level navigation is segmented to resolve four predominant user scenarios: people looking to find information on fishing; people looking to find boating information; people looking for state-level regulations, licensing and resources; and community/social network features. In addition to a standard hierarchical navigation, we created landing pages within each major section that call out the high-profile content elements or features within that section. Most pages on the site also contain a suggested navigation element that crosslinks users directly to related information in other areas of the site. The hierarchical navigation supports drill-down, research-oriented activities, as well as supporting a URL and naming organization that benefits organic search. The landing pages provide an easy way for users to discover content without drilling through too many layers of navigation. Finally, the related information and heavy use of cross-linking supports anyone who visits the site via a search engine, allowing them to find what they are looking for while introducing them to other content—even when they enter the site through an interior page.”


Joe Monnens, senior art director
Carol Estocko/Steve Kaplan/Joel Stacy, writers
Alison Beattie/Andrew Wetzel, interactive designers
Barrett Haroldson, senior designer
Tony Lintner, creative director
Mike Caguin, executive creative director
Andrew Charon/Aaron Clark/Kyle Phillips, developers
Jason Striegel, technical lead
Chris Peters, art buyer
Amanda Bastain/Pamela Brown, interactive producers
Alix Nichols, production designer
Colle + McVoy (Minneapolis, MN), project design and development/ad agency
Sierra Bravo, development partner
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, client

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