Website Design

American Antitrust Institute

Project

Promoting a Competitive Economy

The American Antitrust Institute is an independent nonprofit that serves as a research, education, and advocacy hub on the benefits of competition and antitrust law. They essentially protect consumers, businesses, and society from powerful monopolies (and other anti-competitive practices) that create unfair and harmful market conditions.

The Institute teamed up with Beekeeper Group (when I was the Creative Director there) for a redesign of their site, antitrustinstitute.org. They were looking for a fresh new look, a responsive layout, and a more intuitive navigation system.

Homepage for American Antitrust Institute

Discovery

Research & Takeaways

Other members of my team (not me) interviewed key stakeholders to learn about their challenges with the current site architecture.

The most pressing challenge was the amount of content on their site. They had 12 different content types focused on 19 different industries and issues. Some of this content was current, and some of it was very old. And as their content had grown over time, their tagging structure hadn’t been able to keep up. This left their site difficult to navigate, particularly for users not well-versed in antitrust jargon. It was also a headache for the team organizing the content on the backend—they didn’t have enough control.

At this point, the Institute team was already committed to cutting old content and had some great ideas on how to reorganize the site. They were looking for our guidance on how best to make it happen.

List of categories on old site

Site Goal

To educate businesses, policymakers, and the general public about the importance of competition and antitrust law in order to protect the US economy.

Discovery

Target Audiences

While the Institute aspires to educate everyone about antitrust law, the reality is most consumers and business owners won’t be coming to the site directly. With that in mind, our team identified 3 main audience groups:

Antitrust policy researchers and scholars—These are mainly experts in the field, who are looking for detailed and thoughtful analysis.

Government agencies & Capitol Hill staff—This group is looking for information that could influence policy decisions.

Reporters and bloggers—This group is a conduit to a larger consumer audience, so it’s important for content to be accessible to them as well. Analysis of current events (such as proposed mergers) is particularly useful to this group.

Information Architecture

A Tiered Navigation

The team conducted a content audit and was able to cut a substantial amount of outdated content from the site (particularly from 2010–2015). We were also able to cut or consolidate some of the content types. From there, we were in a good place to retool the navigation. (This is where I came in.)

A useful insight that came from our Discovery phase was that most of the content could be mapped to one of the 20-something issues and industries, and users frequently used them as a starting point to get to the other content. The content type categories were used by some of the more expert users for the same purpose. These lists of categories, however, were getting buried on the old site. Many weren’t even featured directly in the navigation.

For the new site, we created a 2-tiered navigation—where the issues and industries (now labelled Issues by Sector and Issues by Enforcement Area) and content types (now labelled Work) are given their own more prominent section. This section encourages browsing by category, and the content is tagged to support this structure.

Design

A More Organized Experience

We created a series of flexible page templates for the team to use moving forward. Each Category in the prominent “Explore Our Work” dropdown now has a listing page that pulls in all related content, supporting the browsing experience. The Airlines listing page, for example, features an intro to competition in the airline industry, any Airline content from the various work types, and any relevant events (which the Institute is looking to promote more heavily).

On the backend, the Institute team now has access to more sophisticated post types and tagging options, so content can be entered once and pulled into multiple sections. The end result is content that is more organized for the user and the Institute staff.

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