Usability and design improvements to the Amnesty International website

As people who tune in regularly to the blog may be aware, the main site for Amnesty International was completely redesigned last year and launched on Dec 10th human rights day.

Since then, and with the advantages the underlying Drupal, CiviCRM, and Alfresco core technologies have given us (though we’ve had quite a few problems with alfresco since launching), we’ve been able to do quite a bit more than we were ever capable of doing before with the old platform and made some fundamental gains with the site.

But like everything, new technologies and capabilities mean a bit of learning and some of the things we tried didn’t work exactly as planned, and some initial assumptions about the way the site would be used and our audience didn’t turn out as we expected.

So, the web team and our excellent tech partners, CivicActions have been working hard on making improvements particularly in the areas of layout design, information architecture, usability, landing pages (one thing we found is that the main landing page is not necessarily the only landing page due to google’s near pervasive ability to have people jump to places in the site from search results) and improvements to impact both searchability, cross linking and ultimately SEO to make thing easier for our constituents and the people we are trying to reach to find. There are also a few technical improvements on the end to make things run faster and more reliably.

It’s a big piece of work and a lot of sweat and negotiated has gone into the improvements and carefully thought-out trade-offs.

A big, big hand to the web team and our partners for some great work done and getting it up and out the door.

Contrast the new

Amnesty International Oct 2008 web site improvements

with the original launch :

The new Dec 2007 Amnesty site

Would love to hear (constructive) comments back. We’ll be doing a big usability push and working on some persona-based design work in the coming months to carve out the future direction of the site and its focus.