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EJIL:Talk! – Blog of the European Journal of International Law Case Study

Modernising a leading international law journals into an efficient, feature rich Wordpress publishing platform

Details

EJIL:Talk! is one of the world’s leading international law journals. With several new articles being uploaded daily, EJIL:Talk! was in desperate need of an upgrade to keep up to date with modern technology, their industry and their users. The new site had to present EJIL:Talk! with a modern design that influences how the user navigates and searches the site for articles or trending topics.

Technologies

PHP

Wordpress

Javascript

Goals

1
Modernise the design of EJIL:Talk!

2
Improving the user experience of the website and making the site easy to navigate

3
Developing an advanced search feature to help users easily access thousands of articles

4
Allow users to filter search results

5
Allow editors to schedule posts

6
Improve the overall online presence of EJIL:Talk!

7
Allow editors to set featured posts

8
Allow users to sign up to the EJIL:Talk! Newsletter via the website

The User Journey

The EJIL:Talk! blog platform needed redesigned and developed to improve the users journey around the site. EJIL identified the three main types of user and the typical habits of each user journey. We used this information to make decisions about the design and layout of the site to enhance the experience for every user.

Everyday Users

An everyday user will arrive on the site via the homepage which is used to access as much content as possible. We used this knowledge to optimise the EJIL:Talk homepage design with important content from the site. The homepage includes featured posts, recently published posts, recent comments, trending topics, archives and an explore section. Filling the homepage with these key features ensures the user will find what they are looking for without getting lost in a maze of irrelevant or unuseful content.

Regular User

A regular user has a strong interest in EJIL’s content and will benefit from a good and consistent navigation system to find category pages based on their interests. With this knowledge, we streamlined the design of the navigation bar so that it’s clear for the user to follow and includes a dropdown menu containing trending topics for the user to choose from, and a view all option to view all available categories.

Advanced User

An advanced user is someone who will use an advanced search and filter feature to find content that is very specific to their interests. We have designed and developed an advanced search feature for the EJIL:Talk blogging platform that will enable users to make a search that will result in more refined search results that are specific to their interests than a regular search query would find.

Improving the User Experience

Advanced Search

We have made sure that users can easily search the thousands of articles posted on the new and improved EJIL:Talk site by developing an advanced search feature. Unlike the ordinary search that gathers results based on article titles and content, the advanced search allows users to be more specific and filter by criterias including author, category and published date. This is a huge improvement for EJIL:Talk as previously users could only search by keywords or phrases.

Filters

Previously, when a user visited a category page they had to search through multiple pages of articles to find what they were looking for. We have developed filters for category pages to make this experience easier and more time friendly for users. Now we can filter articles by author, tags and choose between showing the most recent or oldest articles first. When continuing to the next page of articles, readers now have the option to go straight to the last page, or likewise back to the first page which will also reduce time wasted when browsing through articles.

The new advanced search and filter features we have developed for EJIL:Talk’s website have vastly improved the overall functionality and quality of their site.

Featured Posts

Editors of EJIL:Talk can now set featured posts on the homepage and all category pages. This can be the most recent article that's been posted on the site, or an article that has been popular amongst readers. This is a useful feature to have as it highlights new or important articles to the reader.

Navigation

The navigation bar on the site has been redesigned to be simple and streamlined so users can easily navigate their way through different categories and articles, previously this wasn’t the case. The navigation bar has been designed and developed in a way that will make the site easy for users to find what they are looking for, with dropdowns previewing different categories to choose from.

Article Post Pages

Articles are the backbone of EJIL:Talk, they are the content that makes the whole site. We have redesigned the article post page with a modern and minimal look that is much more inviting to readers than previously. Post pages also suggest related articles and more articles by the author, giving the user an option on what to read next. Comments and the option to leave a comment are situated at the bottom of the post page. The authors profile can also be accessed via the post page.

Key Stats

20,000+
Monthly visitors

30%
Increased newsletter sign up

Improved experience for users

Improved editor experience

Digital Product Requirements

Training

We provided our client with video and documentation training along with in-person training to ensure we covered all of the EJIL:Talk editors ensuring they were both informed and comfortable with the new system prior to launch. The documentation has proved a particularly useful aid to the team when engaging with new editors.

Editable

The whole website is fully editable by EJIL:Talk allowing them to change content and add new blog posts to the site daily.

Security

Ensuring that the data stored within the database is private and secure and not accessible by any parties outside of the EJIL:Talk team or those with pre-defined access.

Fully Responsive

The whole system is fully responsive and works on any device regardless of screen size. From mobile to desktop the same consistent, considered user experience is provided.

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