Sydney-based Nightjar launches new platform for USYD affiliate, the United States Studies Centre

Sydney-based design company Nightjar has launched a new digital platform for the United States Studies Centre, a think tank affiliated with the University of Sydney.

The announcement:

Sydney independent experience design company, Nightjar, announced today the launch of a new digital platform for the United States Studies Centre (USSC), a world-class think tank affiliated with the University of Sydney. Nightjar has evolved the brand, modernised it, and refreshed it for the future. Their innovative approach has transformed the user journey, providing an unparalleled experience for both students and those engaging with the USSC’s extensive research output.

The USSC plays a pivotal role in shaping discourse on Australia-US relations and provides invaluable insights into this critical alliance. Nightjar’s mission was to create a digital platform that not only elevates the USSC’s credibility, but also simplifies access to its wealth of knowledge and perspectives. Every article and resource on the platform has been curated and informed by leading experts in the field, enhancing the USSC’s reputation for authoritative analysis.

The platform also offers in-depth, focused commentary on the Australia-US alliance that can’t be found elsewhere, making it an indispensable resource for academics, policymakers, students, and the media. Users can explore a wide range of research and opinions on the alliance, gaining a comprehensive understanding of this critical relationship.

To ensure the platform meets the diverse needs of its users, Nightjar conducted a series of one-on-one research interviews with media professionals, students, government policymakers, academics and researchers. These insights led to a strategic approach that simplifies research discovery by aligning content with user needs, rather than internal classifications. The most topical and sought-after research areas are now easily accessible in the navigation, while the homepage prominently showcases the latest and most popular content, categorised for user convenience.

One of the primary challenges Nightjar aimed to address was to streamline information retrieval for busy government and media personnel. To achieve this, they developed a search function and an extensive filtering system that enables users to access nuanced information quickly. The implementation of a comprehensive tagging system crosslinks articles, research papers, experts, and upcoming USSC events, providing users with relevant and contextual content and highlighting the breadth of the Centre’s expertise. For lengthy research papers and reports, Nightjar created a sticky navigation feature to guide users through the content seamlessly.

Beyond these technical enhancements, Nightjar also incorporated the rich history of the USSC’s location, the historic Institute Building located on the University of Sydney campus. Through captivating photography, the new digital platform showcases the building’s storied past, including its use as an emergency hospital during the influenza epidemic following World War I, and in World War II it was occupied by the RAAF between 1942 and 1944. This immersive experience provides potential students and visitors with an authentic glimpse into daily life at the USSC.

Nightjar’s collaboration with the United States Studies Centre has resulted in a platform that not only elevates the Centre’s stature but also empowers users with unparalleled access to expert insights and research on the Australia-US alliance. With a clear focus on user experience, credibility, and historical resonance, Nightjar has created a platform that sets a new standard for think tanks worldwide.

Dr Michael J. Green, professor & CEO, United States Studies Centre, said: “As a research organisation, we are in the business of finding solutions to complex challenges. We needed a platform that would allow us to reach our full potential through presenting our work in innovative and compelling ways. Nightjar delivered even more than we hoped and we are truly thrilled to launch this new phase in the USSC’s history.”

Sam Turner, design director, Nightjar, added: “We recognised that success would rest on establishing stronger design principles to create a better editorial and brand experience, given so much reading is done on the site. Building on the fundamentals of great editorial design, our new system elevates USSC’s presence and credibility in the industry.

The new design system is highly flexible, allowing for a rich variety of typographic and editorial designs; creating an elegant and intuitive user-experience whilst also giving the internal team the ability to create bespoke page layouts, controlled through a user friendly and intuitive content management system.”

Source: Joy Clark & Associates


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