Center for American Progress

The ChallengeCAP Logo

I had worked with the Center for American Progress for a number of years and been there through a few redesigns. But this time around, the site was being moved from an old content management system into WordPress. This migration was an opportunity to revamp a lot of the underlying structure, code, and style that drove the site. Our goal wasn’t to do a big, splashy redesign; rather, we wanted to make a lot of clean, incremental improvements across the site.

 

The Solution

The biggest improvement was to make the site 100% responsive: all of the content was now optimized to present well on small screens and tablets as well as traditional desktops. We also revamped the features area to make it easier to showcase the site’s top stories. We made it faster, lighter, easier to load. Although I fixed dozens of small design elements and issues, we kept the overall look-and-feel of the site the same. As a designer, it was a tremendous lesson on how you could vastly improve a site by fixing hundreds of things behind the curtain.

The Center at a glance

CAP typically publishes a dozen or more articles a day, along with promoting events and reports. With so much going on, the primary goal of the home page design to allow visitors to skim the highlights of the Centers’ most recent work and activity.

The layout provides a visual hierarchy of most important to least important content. It also allows visitors to subscribe to the Center’s weekly newsletter or sign up to attend live events.

Home page sample screen shot

Reader-friendly stories

Articles were optimized to allow for bold feature images and readable text, along with easy tools for sharing the content with social networks.

Story page sample

Every issue in depth

As a public policy think tank, CAP creates a lot of research and reporting. We designed special page layouts to allow visitors to browse any issue in depth, with an emphasis given to the most important and recent work.

CAP issue page

Tablet or phone? Sure.

Every page on the site was designed to reflow and adapt to mobile devices seamlessly. At any size, the site is simple to navigate and read.

Karel Fellowship Site on Smaller Screens

Phone-friendly design

We worked to make sure the new design was responsive and would look great on any phone, anywhere. Any page is responsive and adapts to mobile phone screens.

CAP on Mobile Screens

The Result

The redesign showed strong, measurable results. In the months after the redesign, site traffic and the number of unique visitors were all up. Within a year of the redesign, the website was getting more than half a million more page views per month.

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Increased Unique Visitors

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Increased Page Views

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Increased in average daily visits

Visit the live site

americanprogress.org

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