Design (Electronic Publication)

Cherokee Nation Businesses scores big with a user-friendly digital library

The online resource emphasizes functionality while maintaining a clear, uncluttered aesthetic to help its staff access information quickly and easily.

CNB Digital Library - Logo -

In the late 19th century, American architect Louis Sullivan observed that “form ever follows function.” 

How prescient he was. Who could have known then that his comments about skyscrapers would just as easily be applied to award-winning online publications of the 21st century? 

The ease in navigating the CNB Digital Library—where employees of Cherokee Nation Businesses get information—is the overriding factor in its claiming top honors in the Best Design (Electronic Publication) category of Ragan’s 2012 Employee Communications Awards. 

Here is the concept, as offered by CNB’s Stephanie Pinkston:

“[To] equip every business representative with an iPad loaded with the CNB Digital Library, which contains information regarding all business units within the Cherokee Nation Businesses portfolio. As a result, every business representative is prepared to respond to questions not only about his/her business unit but also any of the 23-plus business units in the CNB family.”

Flip through page by page, or click on a particular division. The user can also access an array of online tools, again with just a click on a clear icon. 

The library is cleanly and logically organized. Within each division are subheadings to guide users to the information they seek. 

Aesthetically, the site eschews the gaudy and presents illustrative images—but only as needed. There are no contrivances to distract the eye and slow down the functionality. 

The result is a crisp experience for the user. 

Congratulations to Sharon Price, director of marketing and internal communications, who oversaw the project, and to all those whose efforts created the winning entry. 

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