website rebrand

May 30, 2019

Truth Initiative® is a leading public health organization with robust content based in deep scientific research, as well as innovative programs like the truth campaign, and tools for quitting smoking. In addition to the award-winning advertising and activism for youth tobacco prevention, Truth Initiative is an organization backed in rich tobacco control research and policy studies, community and youth engagement programs, and digital cessation and prevention products.

In 2015, Truth Initiative relaunched their website to coincide with a rebrand, transitioning from American Legacy Foundation to Truth Initiative. At that time, the new also represented a strategic shift – to expand their audience and become a robust content site in addition to continuing to be a valuable resource for tobacco control, public health, academic and state partners.

As Truth Initiative continued to produce content for their varied audience, they identified an opportunity to improve the user experience, increase site traffic, optimize for mobile, utilize the latest in CMS technology, showcase all of their programs, and better serve their growing consumer and industry audiences.

When they reached out to Genuine for help in mid-2018, we unpacked three primary reasons for a website redesign, aligning with these objectives:

  1. Better communicate the brand story
  2. Make it easy to navigate
  3. Define a more innovative visual design

In the year that followed, we worked with Truth Initiative to completely redesign their website, upgrading to the latest Drupal 8 technology, including UX, design, copywriting, and front and back-end development.

Ensuring clarity and simplicity

We set out to create an easy-to-navigate, simplified user experience that makes it clear who Truth Initiative is, and what they stand for. And at the same time, we made finding, viewing and sharing all content from the site simple, intuitive and quick – for everyone. To kick start this process, we broke it down into two key principles:

  1. Content exposure

    Truth Initiative needs to continue to be a trusted content hub for information seekers that already value its research, data and content. We need to get users to the content they want, with as little friction as possible. And we need a clean, clear, simplified user experience.

  2. Brand clarity

    In addition to getting the expanded audience set to the right content, it was important to take the branding to the next level. While best known for the truth campaign, Truth Initiative had a growing community of youth activism as well as innovation in the quit smoking space. The new site needed to be a reflection of the rapidly growing and expanding brand.

Employing a user-centric approach

Truth Initiative acknowledged that their current website was filled with a lot of internal organizational vocabulary (i.e. cessation vs. quitting smoking) and used a non-intuitive tagging structure. To ensure the best path forward, they were on board with us conducting thorough user testing so that the new site would live up to user expectations.

We started with an Information Architecture Tree Test, which allowed us to determine if our proposed navigation structure logically made sense based on the paths our key personas would take on the site. We were then able to sell-in a taxonomy overhaul, and once we designed wireframes for the new experience, we implemented usability testing to affirm our go-forward plan was the best approach.

Enjoying the final product

The new website launched in late May 2019 – a year after we began the scope of work with Truth Initiative.

"We are very excited to launch our new website the result of a true partnership and creative collaboration between Genuine and Truth Initiative. From the onset, we’ve had a very positive agency-client working relationship, and the final website is evidence of that success. It’s also notable to mention that the very same team members have been part of the project since the work began – which is often quite rare in this space. Genuine’s deep knowledge of all facets of web development from UX design to the latest technology and best practices was only surpassed by their passion for the project."

– Tricia Kenney, Chief Communications Officer

Today, upon visiting the new Truth Initiative website, users are greeted with a rich storytelling experience. They can explore content by various topics as well as seamlessly navigate to other sections, if desired, including: 

  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • Our top issues
  • Research & resources
  • Get involved

The site is interactive and engaging, optimized for mobile, and even includes a visual timeline to take you through the history of the company (clearing up any confusion around who and what Truth Initiative is).

website redesign

Site analytics are forthcoming but the client couldn’t be more satisfied with the initial launch.

"The ease of changing things is a great asset of the new CMS - especially if I need to change the order of anything. Being able to drag and drop pieces of content into a different order takes mere seconds. This is a huge time saver. It's quick and easy to move content around and swap content in and out.”

– Mickey Chagnon, Communications Specialist