Facing History and Ourselves

Applying fresh site architecture and design to connect educators with resources to combat bigotry.

Facing History and Ourselves provides students and teachers with educational resources that examine historical and modern bigotry. They seek to safeguard a more humane citizenry by encouraging careful study of prejudice as it affects our communities.

Challenge

Facing History’s content was organized around organizational structures rather than visitor needs and desires.

Solutions

We re-architected the site to better meet Facing History’s goals of communicating the importance and value of the work they do. These structural changes also supported design changes required to move their site from D6 to D7.

Results

This new site tells Facing History’s story in a compelling and engaging way, encouraging users to dive deeper into the wealth of carefully curated information that awaits them.

Facing History’s site had a lot of moving pieces and a massive library of content that needed to be displayed in a variety of ways - from card views and teasers to full, detailed pages. We developed new calls to action that encouraged user engagement with the content. Image styling was a major element of this redesign, transforming what was formerly a primarily text-based site into a highly visual educational experience.

The Facing History website as viewed on a laptop

We built two types of related content blocks, giving Facing History the tools to pull users deeper into their content. The first was a related content block where editors could reference any number of pieces of content or media, and then have them rendered in an attractive card view below or beside the primary content. When a curated block of related content isn’t available, we use Apache Solr’s “More Like This” functionality to display relevant content based on its similarity with the primary content. These same blocks can also show related or relevant upcoming events. To the site visitor, there’s no difference between how the blocks appear, but the flexibility affords Facing History’s team the ability to carefully curate the most important content without worrying about breaking the experience in other areas.

“It is clear that the length and maturity of our working relationship with ThinkShout has brought us to a highly functioning, productive, and positive place. It is also very apparent that ThinkShout deeply understands Facing History’s digital landscape, our goals, and our staff/stakeholder needs. We’ve had a true partnership in executing every element of this project from discovery through to post-launch polish.”

~ April Lambert, Associate Director of Digital Infrastructure, Facing History and Ourselves

The Facing History website as viewed on a laptop and a smartphone
The Facing History website as viewed on a laptop - top down

We launched the new Facing History with a fresh visual style and revamped information architecture. This new site tells Facing History’s story in a compelling and engaging way, encouraging users to dive deeper into the wealth of carefully curated information that awaits them.

Launch Site