International Alert

For over 30 years, International Alert has been working to build positive peace and reduce violence. It works directly with people affected by violence to support lasting solutions, advocates with them for change and collaborates openly with all those striving for peace. Its website is key to reaching its audience around the world, and providing invaluable insight, expertise and information, which means a continual focus on the user experience it delivers, and what its audiences want and need is key.

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As an organisation with a wealth of expertise, knowledge and information to share, the way it’s shared with audiences and the experience they have of it is key to driving engagement.

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The user needs to be able to quickly find and access what they need and want, and be able to navigate through and around that information in a way that suits their own, individual user behaviours. 

Enhancing user experience and driving engagement 

This focus has shaped the design and functionality of the publications section to improve user experience, and drive engagement. This has included the addition of subtle and unobtrusive elements such as a scroll-activated progress bar – so users can see where they are within any long read – and a dynamic contents list to provide fast, ‘jump to’ navigate through long publications, with show-hide footnote functionality. All of removes any frustrations for the user, for an experience that’s positive and memorable.


Optimising for performance and accessibility

Web performance really matters. Better web performance means a better chance of ranking higher in search engine results, improving the number of return visitors, decreasing bounce rate, getting faster and more conversions, and a great user experience.

And a website that prioritises accessibility delivers a strategic organisational advantage because it’s inclusive, meaning every part of your audience has a positive experience, including those with disabilities or limitations. If your site is easy to navigate, interact with and understand, then search engines reward that favourably, ranking your site higher in search results, and that’s key to driving more traffic to your website.

The International Alert website is well-built and high-performing, but entering into a cycle of continual audit and improvement is the best way of ensuring the site is the best it can be in terms of both performance and accessibility, and driving incremental improvement in both areas. Audits highlight a range of quick-to-do fixes, as well as areas for greater consideration. Introducing Cloudinary for example on the International Alert website has provided advanced image compression and higher optimisation levels, automatically selecting the most appropriate image format, quality and compression settings for each user, resulting in reduced bandwidth usage and faster load times. That’s something that directly translates to improved web performance.

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Understanding audiences, learning from insights

Audits are also important on analytics and advertising, as they can shine a light on what can be done to achieve a more effective set up. Because Google and social media platforms are continually evolving to enhance user experience, it’s important to take the time for a deeper look. While everything was set up and configured on the International Alert site, a recent quick clean up and removal of goals specific to the now end-of-lifed Universal Analytics means some tags needed removing, some goals had stopped working, and some new ones needed setting up. We also enhanced the set up within Plausible, a privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics that International Alert is currently using alongside.  It’s a similar case with advertising, where checking and enhancing the set up can make all the difference to effective tracking and increase the level and quality of insight. It’s that insight that helps us continually improve and enhance the digital offer, giving audiences more of what they want and need, driving engagement, growing conversions and creating lasting impact through digital.