The Challenge

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan think tank that produces expert and timely advice for Australia's strategic and defence leaders. ASPI generates new ideas for government, allowing them to make better-informed decisions for Australia's future.

ASPI's previous website was very dense, containing a wealth of information. The problem was that this valuable information was hard to find because of lacklustre search capabilities. Many processes were still handled manually, such as signing up for membership or purchasing publications (which had to be done over the phone).

ASPI were looking for a web solution that would improve their e-commerce capabilities and to grow their web presence from their dominance in the defence industry to the general public. And with the growing pressure to do more with less, ASPI needed a web partner that could work with them to meet requirements within a limited budget.

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The Solution

ASPI and Squiz knew that with so many variables, we had a complex problem on our hands. Luckily, we love solving problems, so we worked as a team to come up with a simple solution. There's a lot to talk about, so we've culled it down to just a few of the awesome things we delivered:

Intuitive, simplified information architecture. It's now so much easier to navigate your way around the site and this also increases search engine rankings.

Truly responsive design. More senior defence officials, academics, journalists and the general public are using devices such as smart phones and tablets to view content, so we worked together to develop a responsive design that taps into this audience.

Matrix CMS. The old ASPI website was build within a custom CMS that made publishing and editing a chore, but loads of content already lived within it. We moved 90% of the content in our world-class Matrix CMS using auto migration scripts developed in-house, cutting manual labour and quickening the pace of the project.

Social media integration. With a mobile-first approach to responsive design, we also recognised that social media would be a big factor in the success of this website. We implemented an Open Graph metadata schema that gives ASPI full control over how website content is presented on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Seamless event and membership registration. Gaining new members and registering people for events is a huge part of ASPI's business strategy. We developed a seamless process that enables members to sign up easily through the website and pay through a secure payment gateway.

The Result

In the short amount of time since the site has been launched. There have been some great results:

  • The bounce rate for the site as a whole is lower by 16%. This indicates the design is effective in engaging users and gaining their attention and holding them on the landing pages longer.
  • Pages per visit has increased by 25%
  • Visit duration has increased 38%

"Everyone in the ASPI office has been very impressed with the feel and functionality of the new website. From a personal standpoint, it's been an absolute pleasure working with such a proactive, knowledgeable team, which has turned a very complex project into something far less scary." Luke Wilson, ASPI Information Manager

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