Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is a nonprofit organization that fights the growing threat posed by extremist ideologies. CEP educates the public on the dangers of extremism through a wealth of resources, including an extensive research database, in-depth reports, policy discussions, and more.
CEP is a longtime client, having hired Brick Factory to create its initial organizational website back in 2017. After four years, their website needed a refresh to better organize the rich content resources CEP had developed over the years. We wanted to support CEP’s mission of educating a wide variety of visitors by making the website’s navigation clear and user-friendly. CEP manages information that evolves with the news cycle, so we planned to give the team at CEP tools to update the website with as little friction as possible.
Brick Factory worked with CEP to give the home page a fresh, modern feel. Landing on the new home page, the focus is drawn to the featured headline. Where the old design overwhelmed the eye, the new website is streamlined and conveys a sense of authority through the uncluttered layout and cool-toned color palette. As the user scrolls down the home page, they see different kinds of content grouped by category, in an organized and digestible experience.
Brick Factory advised CEP to organize the website’s navigation menus by topic, rather than by the type of content. When a visitor to the site wants to learn about the Taliban, the new “Topics” menu allows them to click on “The Taliban,” and see all of the related information that CEP offers: news links, press releases, reports, and more.
In addition to organizing content by individual topics, the team at Brick Factory also created a dropdown menu organized by theme. As part of CEP’s research and analysis, they synthesize broader themes about extremism in the world today. Curious readers can get a better sense of the big picture by exploring Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, or Tech and Extremism Online.
The Brick Factory redesign allows CEP to swiftly and easily update the focal points of the website to keep pace with world events. Many users turn to the CEP website after hearing about an extremist group in the news. The new “Trending Topics” feature across the top of the home page allows a news-savvy user to immediately find what they were looking for, without the need to search or perform additional action.
Even better, Brick Factory designed this feature so that the team at CEP can easily swap out a trending topic themselves. Our team also designed the new menu system for easy DIY updates: the staff at CEP can create a new topic page themselves in around an hour, in order to highlight in-depth information about an extremist group in the news.
Website security is a priority for CEP, so when redesigning the website, Brick Factory worked with CEP to keep their systems current. CEP’s website runs on a content management system called Drupal, which periodically comes out with new versions. The old website ran on Drupal 7, which is due to be phased out by the end of 2022.
Rather than run out the clock on Drupal 7, we initiated this redesign in 2020 to keep CEP up to date with the latest in web security. Brick Factory was able to move all content and functionality over to a newer version with time to spare. Now that the new site is up and running, CEP is set up for maximum efficiency for the foreseeable future.
After only a few months, the Brick Factory redesign showed dramatic improvement in how visitors were connecting with the website and its content. The amount of time people spent on the site rose 34%, and the number of pages visitors viewed each time they visited the site rose 50%. Additionally, the new website inspires 2.7% of visitors to the site to join the email list, compared to just 0.8% of visitors to the old site.