Center for a New American Security

Craft Migration Focused on Feature Improvements

The Challenge

Migrate CNAS.org to Craft 3 while improving the user experience of select elements of the site — both for users and content editors.

Our Approach

Focusing on the table of contents and endnotes features, we improved the layout and interaction design of the reports section of the site while also updating legacy custom plugins with the Craft upgrade.

The Results

A more performant site and overall improved experience for CNAS.org users. The upgrade has improved site uptime and has received accolades from content editors.

Little Details Make a Huge Difference

As user experience designers, our job is to create a simple and intuitive path for the user to complete their task, whatever that may be. That starts with the navigation, or in the case of their reports, table of contents. 

The table of contents (as seen on the left-hand side of the article) is a convenient tool for the user to have the ability to hop from one point in the article to another. Early conversations with CNAS revealed that it was important for the user to have this feature accessible at any point in time while reading an article. As a result, we made the feature a “sticky” element, staying in place while the user scrolls while also having the table of contents highlight where you are in the article. These small details have made a huge difference for CNAS’s power users.

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Updating to Craft 3

Perhaps the topmost priority beyond key UX improvements was upgrading from Craft 2 to Craft 3. With Craft 2 security support coming to an end in 2020, it was a necessary upgrade to not only ensure security for an organization that has a focus on just that but also to help troubleshoot with site caching issues that caused the site to go down at various moments. With the update, we improved uptime and overhauled custom plugins for use in Craft 3 that have saved content editors' time and peace of mind.

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