The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a nonprofit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology and the jewelry arts. GIA's mission is to protect all buyers and sellers of gemstones by setting and maintaining the standards used to evaluate gemstone quality.
GIA is most known for its International Diamond Grading System and the Four Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight) as a standard to compare and evaluate the quality of diamonds.
Charles creative directed the redesign of the GIA website with a team of information architects, interaction designers, and UI designers from pitch, discovery, vision, design, to site launch. The team set project goals of identifying new personas, increasing relevance to the retail market (mass appeal), and reestablishing their former cache.
Through user studies and extensive interviews with clientele, the team gained clearer insights on how to improve the analysis and grading service. In addition, they created an inspirational education section to showcase career paths in gemology and an updated extensive research portal which allowed professionals to remain up-to-date with the latest in synthetics and advancements in gemology.
Additionally in an effort to position GIA as the center point of all things gemology, the team conceptualized and designed GIA's first ever gemological encyclopedia - tailoring all personas from children studying gems in school to rock hounds searching for details on their favorite stones. With optimized SEO, GIA gained first page Google search results, boosting their website traffic and overall exposure.