EESC.lt

About The Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC)

The Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) is an independent think-tank that has been operating since 2006 and focuses on analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them. The EESC implements large-scale national and international projects, strengthening the tradition of analytical centres in the region.

The main users of the website are employees of governmental and non-governmental institutions and media representatives.

Our task for re-designing the website

The main purpose of the new website was to make it easy for users to find and download the latest publications and make it easy to find them in the library.

A secondary objective was to promote mobile browsing (the old site was mainly accessed via desktop).

How we handled it?

Information gathering

In the first Q&A session we have talked about main pains such as user unfriendly search, not responsive and inconsistent design, focusing too strongly on standing out rather than on usability, confusing navigation and difficult website CMS management for the admins.

We have talked quit a bit about the purpose & Kpi’s of the website. The EESC publishes a wide range of publications: reviews, holdings, bulletins and newsletters. How to make those publications by world-renowned experts accessible and easy to use?

We’ve worked out what kind of user group is the most important to be reached and appealed.

Then we’ve started the discussion on content, visuals and SEO. The client wanted it clearer, shorter, easier to read and find.

Planning of the eesc.lt architecture

So first of all, we have researched the keywords and have structured the information pieces & the relationships between them. Using Figma we have sketched a screen blueprint that depicted the layout of all the pages (content, interface elements, navigational systems, and how they work together), responsive design for mobile phones included.

Designing the eesc.lt

We have conducted user research and competitor analysis and found out that clarity of navigation, finding information and its novelty are key elements that users of eesc.lt want. This was also our chance to slightly distinguish eesc.lt from other similar organisations in the fighting for users’ time.

The brand (logo and main colours) were slightly refreshed, different fonts selected so overall feel of the experience with the website improved. The icons & buttons, typography & colour schemes, spacing, imagery – everything was designed with a more targeted website in mind.

Now the website will look good & remain completely functional across all devices.

Development

We wanted to customize the functionality and appearance of the site and have that high-end user journey. We’ve chosen WordPress as eesc.lt website platform, created custom theme and spiced it up with nice chunk of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP coding. Limited by budget we were ought to use the plugins. And they served all the needs for forms, authors and multilingual website, of course.

Testing of the eesc.lt

Most important stage after the development, was testing. We have checked the website for functionality, usability, security, compatibility, performance and made it live and accessible to the public.

It’s live. SEO thinking.

Now, we have to retain SEO ranking after a redesign of eecs.lt

We have created the redesign on a separate URL and Noindexed it so that search engines don’t accidentally find it; we only switched to main domain when all was ready and tested.

The redirects are always a headache, but we were (and still are!) very careful and particular. Ideally, you want to use the exact same URLs as the old website. In our case it wasn’t possible as the structure of the site was changed, so 301 redirects are used to channel visitors of that old website into newly redesigned version of it.

And there were many more boxes to check optimizing images to shorten loading times, writing meta descriptions, allowing search engine crawlers access to the  site easily, submiting an XML sitemap for better indexing, double-checking all links, and fix broken links as they can spell trouble for SEO. There are still paths to go, but overall result is so satisfying to both us and to an excellent team of the Eastern Europe Studies Centre’s.

 

The old homepage of the eesc.lt

GPYR design of the new eesc.lt homepage

The new homepage of the eesc.lt

The old Publication page of the eesc.lt

GPYR design of the new eesc.lt Publication page

The new Publications page of the eesc.lt

The old Research programmes page of the eesc.lt

GPYR design of the new eesc.lt Research Programmes page

The new Research programmes page of the eesc.lt