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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

thetrace.org
The 19th Executive Team
The 19th Executive Team, Elizabeth Warren on stage, Sean Saifa Wall (Intersex Justice Project founder)

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 headshot Miles Kohrman
The Trace
Article: Biden campaign adds Karine Jean-Pierre as senior adviser Graph Component: US Gun Deaths by Year. Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Article: Shoot Someone In a Major U.S. City, and Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It Article: The NRA and Gun Reform: The Key Races We’re Watching Chart Component: Household gun ownership Project: Bang for the Buck Homepage: New York Attorney General Sues to Dissolve the NRA Pull quote: You get so many cases and you triage them

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.

Homepage: New York Attorney General Sues to Dissolve the NRA Project: Bang for the Buck Timeline Article: Tiny Police Force Taking Guns From Abusers

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

  • The Markup
  • The Center for Public Integrity
  • ESPN
  • PBS NewsHour
  • NEO LIFE

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