Unlocking the Value of Policy Content

CBCNY

 

The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic organization working to achieve constructive change in the finances and services of the New York City and State governments, focusing on government finance, performance management, education, transportation, healthcare, and economic development.


CBC partnered with Forum One for a full-scale upgrade and redesign of their brand and web presence to clearly communicate their identity and improve the online experience for their multiple audiences, including elected officials, policymakers, the media, advocates, and the public.

Modernizing a Trusted Brand

We began with strategic activities discover audience needs, set overall redesign themes, and anticipate an improved user experience. Applying the insights we gained, we created a new visual identity for CBC that reinforces the organization’s 80-year history as a trusted and respected watchdog of state and city finances, while modernizing and enlivening the context and tone of their deep policy content. 

The new design features elegant use of white space, simple yet sophisticated design elements, and intentional use of color to signal content organization and priorities. We also created reusable design elements like feature cards, pull quotes, and topic carousels that make it easy for CBC to keep site content fresh. Topping off the new identity is a versatile logo our team designed that conveys the organization’s focus on New York and data. 

Designed to Let Content Shine

To make it easier for CBC’s audiences to find the information they need, we developed a new site map, diagramed key pages, and documented desired user journeys for key audiences to inform our user experience design.

We also devised a beautiful, minimalist interface to give readers of CBC’s many long reports a  friendly and frictionless reading experience with its growing mobile audience in mind. Previously published as inflexible PDFs, CBC reports now feature dynamic and well-styled elements for all of the key publication elements, including tables of contents, pull quotes, data tables, and footnotes.

A Flexible Experience in Drupal 8

We implemented the site using Drupal 8, taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities to make site content easier to manage and explore. We collaborated with CBC to migrate content from CBC’s Drupal 6 site, mapping old items to the new content types and taxonomies we devised. We made extensive use of the Drupal Paragraphs module to give content editors extreme editorial flexibility when crafting publications. A user-friendly, Solr-powered search knits all of the content together. 

We are thrilled with the product and the partnership. Forum One provided a turn-key solution for our rich policy content with great design, communication, and collaboration throughout. When the team presented our vision to our Board of Trustees, it was enthusiastically received. Since launch, we’ve received nothing but compliments on our site. It was great working with Forum One!”

Maria Doulis, Vice President, Citizens Budget Commission