Amnesty International

A powerful example of using the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg, for enterprise is our ongoing work for the world’s leading human rights organisation, Amnesty International.

A driver for global human rights initiatives with more than seven million members and supporters around the globe, Amnesty International campaigns to end abuses of human rights in 150 countries worldwide.

With internal resources being pushed to their limits internally, Amnesty International approached us with a key aim, to simplify digital processes and build a single reusable framework which would allow the movement to meet the increasing demands of publishing numerous websites, microsites and website rebuilds across the globe. With sections, regional offices and project teams all working towards the same goal from around the world, the team was collectively producing thousands of pieces of content each year across various microsites. This often meant the process of producing, sharing and updating content was drawn out, and the team were looking for a solution which would ensure consistency across these platforms, as well as being suitable for both technical and non-technical members of the team to utilise.

Testing the power of Gutenberg

With the new WordPress editor on the horizon in 2018, we decided to utilise Gutenberg for the project which would not only simplify the process of producing and editing content, but also allow the team to quickly and efficiently spin up new websites and webpages internally, without the need to request actions from numerous teams.

Over the course of several weeks, we began a phase of discovery – compiling brand research by exploring Amnesty International’s internal structures and processes to reveal what was holding the team back, as well as their amazing internal culture and values. We held meetings with various members of the Amnesty team including design, editorial and management, and got to really understand exactly what they were looking for in their next web project in order to provide the best possible solution which would tick all of the boxes.

By uncovering and articulating the company’s needs, we were able to suggest an innovative new technology which would ensure brand consistency whilst helping the company to be flexible to the growing needs of content creation within each region.

Amnesty International WordPress theme

The result is a core theme, built with the Gutenberg WordPress editor, which allows the team to produce stunning websites quickly and efficiently while holding onto a unified brand identity throughout each region. The user-friendly theme allows for various content blocks to be inserted, moved and edited easily from the admin and populated with text, links and images. Accessibility and performance were key to us for this project due to the vast number of people using the theme across the globe, including teams from third world countries.

The theme was built using a variation of prompts, custom Gutenberg blocks, nested blocks, and predefined styles, giving non-technical editorial staff the ability to create and arrange content to build out websites for various locations.

The full Amnesty WordPress theme has since been released as an open-source theme, Benenson, to encourage contribution throughout the WordPress community, in order to help Amnesty International reach their goal of having a single reusable framework that the whole movement can use. This allows them to focus on giving their worldwide supporters the best possible experience in finding and acting upon the issues that truly matter to them

For more information on the theme, head over to our blog post Introducing Benenson – a Gutenberg WordPress theme.

Having a single reusable framework means the whole Amnesty movement can cut overheads for each new build whilst ensuring brand, user experience and web standards are always consistent. By concentrating our future efforts into a single platform we’ll also be able to push updates and improvements to all sites on the platform. This will allow us to focus our efforts on producing great content and giving our supporters the best possible experience in finding and acting upon the issues that matter to them.

Senior UX Designer at Amnesty International

Gutenberg Showcase: Building custom WordPress blocks for Amnesty International

Take a look at a video demonstration of our work for Amnesty International, built with VIP using the new editor, Gutenberg.