The International Hydropower Association

Amplifying the voice of sustainable hydropower worldwide


Working with the International Hydropower Association to rebrand their digital presence in time for their 25th anniversary

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation
committed to the responsible and sustainable development and operation of hydropower. The association serves as the voice of sustainable hydropower worldwide.


The challenge

The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined hydropower’s resilience and critical role in delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy, especially in times of crisis. IHA sought a new web platform to enable them to more effectively communicate their role as the voice of sustainable hydropower worldwide.

The website had to engage and educate a diverse range of audiences, from technical experts to decision-makers and the general public, while also encouraging a range of private, public sector and non-profit organisations to become members.

Image of two iPhones with previews of the IHA website

Setting Overarching Project Goals

The two main goals for the project involved the following:

1) Inform and educate non-technical audiences about the role and value of hydropower
2) Engage, recruit and retain IHA’s large network of members and partners

These needed to be accomplished within a tight timeframe and in a way that provided IHA with a flexible platform that could adapt to their business needs.

“We set Catch Digital a daunting challenge: to deliver a cutting - edge website that would help to reposition and rebrand IHA’s digital presence. The team was hugely impressed with their creativity, resourcefulness and attention to detail. We are delighted with the final result.”

Will Henley, Head of Communications IHA

Image of an iPhone and iPad with preview of the IHA website 

Understanding both business and user needs

Remote working during the pandemic of 2020 did not stop us from getting a full view of IHA’s organisational needs and a better understanding of their various audiences and user journeys. Using Mural, we ran virtual workshops to flesh out who exactly would be using their site, their goals, needs and current pain points.

Image of an online workshop preview with virtual sticky notes related to understanding IHA's target audiences

Applying a component based approach to design

We worked with IHA to come up with information architecture for the site that catered for their wide ranging audience groups, creating interactive prototypes to validate against these core groups.

Image of low fidelity page wireframes on a blue background

Utilising a component based design approach we addressed future requirements for the website, allowing for new areas of the website to be created both quickly and easily by the IHA team based on a flexible set of components.

A style guide details the design of each UI element so we can quickly create usable web page layouts by duplicating and combining components together. This leads to faster prototyping of new page designs in-house with the IHA team.

Image of different Design System elements for the designers

Webflow, a low-code CMS solution

From the outset, IHA were clear they were keen to leverage their internal design capabilities to maintain the site post-launch. As a non-profit organisation, minimising ongoing support costs were key to the organisation.

The challenge was that while the internal team had excellent design capabilities, they didn’t have coding expertise, so a low-code platform was required. We recommended Webflow.

IHA was onboard with our recommendation as it’s a double win for them; Webflow allows for rapid development plus giving them more control and flexibility to adapt over time in-house with its low-code approach. This decision allowed us to move quickly through the design and build phases of the project.

Image of Webflow content management design view

The choice of Webflow allows IHA’s internal team the ability to take on the creation of new pages, rearrange existing ones and even create promotional microsites themselves, using the components that Catch designed as a base from which to start with, all via Webflow’s intuitive visual designer.

Image of five previews of different areas of the mobile site experience

Award winning results

IHA’s new website provides the association a dynamic platform with which to continue their 25-year journey promoting the benefits of hydropower and the adoption, recognition and exchange of sustainable practices while offering a compelling argument for both individuals and companies to support the association.

In January 2021 the website was shortlisted as a nominee for “Site of the Day” at the prestigious Awwwards. The website also won 3 x awards at the CSS Design Awards, where it was voted by the public to win Best UI Design, Best UX Design and Best Innovation.

Image of 3 site awards won at the CSS Design Awards, including Best UI Design, Best UX Design and Best Innovation

We’re excited to continue our partnership with IHA and support their commitment to responsible and sustainable hydropower. You can check out their new website at





Countries added hydropower capacity in 2019


Clean electricity generation in terawatt hours 2019 (TWh)


Website industry awards, Awwwards & CSSDA

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