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The Trace

The Trace is nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom that reports on gun violence in America.

We worked with their team to relaunch their brand and editorial platform — resulting in a new user experience and WordPress implementation that balances editorial flexibility and user centered conversion opportunities.

What We Did

  • Art Direction & Brand Design
  • Audience Engagement Strategy
  • Content & Product Strategy
  • Editorial Tools
  • User Experience Design
  • WordPress Development

What We Made
A hand holding a phone with The Trace website

Leveraging the Brand

As The Trace established itself over the past few years, it’s gained authortity and recognition in the quality of its journalism. It was clear that the format of the site needed to support an evolved editorial strategy around investigations and in-depth reporting across topic areas. We built tools to support their growth in newsletters, data visualizations and longform articles.

Upstatement’s work gives us precise editorial control for rich storytelling and reader engagement. Our stakeholders loved the seamless process, thoughtful collaboration, and speedy development.

Miles Kohrman The Trace

Evolving the Reading Experience

This engagement represents a radical shift in design and user experience, and realized The Trace’s editorial goals while being respectful of the sensitive — and often emotional — subject matter. We helped think about how this new Trace should feel to site visitors, and built on its information-driven, non-partisan ethos. Upstatement focused on the article pages, since that’s where over 94% of site traffic comes from. We also redesigned their homepage to be topic-oriented: prioritizing depth over recency. Persistant calls to action help turn visitors into regular readers, and regular readers into paying members.

Upstatement has been designing and building digital platforms for important editorial voices for over a decade. Some clients include:

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