Amnesty International

Managing the build of a five-language microsite for the key release of the year

The brief: get up and running fast

The Amnesty International Report is the definitive word on human rights across the world and the organisation’s landmark release each year. They needed a microsite to bring the printed report to life – one that wouldn’t (unlike in previous years) fall over in the face of visitor numbers. The catch? There were less than 10 weeks to go before the report’s publication.

Step 1: recruit an agency

Amnesty didn’t have the in-house development resources to build the site themselves. In our role as web project managers we scoped and wrote the microsite brief, put it out to tender and managed the entire procurement process. The winning agency needed to demonstrate design and tech muscle, clever ways to auto-migrate hundreds of pages of dense Word docs to the site and be absolutely sure they could meet the cast-in-stone launch deadline (and challenging budget).

Step 2: manage the build

Designs came first and we helped the agency get these approved by very senior members of the AI organisation. We then kept a tight rein on the development process, ensuring key milestones were met and that specific challenges were overcome (non-English languages, Arabic and Russian type, content imports).

Step 3: testing and editing

We oversaw a comprehensive user-testing phase and a complicated editing phase (multiple languages, multiple stakeholders). Long hours and late nights ensured the site met with organisation-wide approval.

Step 4: launch and beyond

The site launched to global fanfare and intensive media interest and received a huge spike in visitor numbers (which, thanks to extensive traffic planning, it managed without a hitch). The template laid down for the microsite was retained for the following three years.

Pacha magazine 22 January 2016 Unison 8 February 2016