Creative Commons Hero Image


Creative Commons

Lighting up the Commons: Large-scale WordPress Redesign

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows people to share their copyrighted works via free legal tools. Their work has evolved over the years, as sharing open license content has become a global movement. Current areas of impact include: arts and culture, open access, open science, education/OER, policy and advocacy, open data, and technology.

They were seeking a full redesign of their website, and to significantly simplify their information architecture to support their goals. Big picture, they needed a site that represented the personality of the commons (connected, vibrant, full of ideas, grassroots), fostered a sense of inclusion and community, and made it easy to accomplish top calls to action.

Advocacy Groups
Civil Society
Project Highlights
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Facilitated multi-stakeholder discovery process to clarify and align organizational priorities

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Content strategy to effectively communicate the value and relevancy of Creative Commons

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Visualizing the vibrancy and diversity of the commons by showcasing some of the 1.1 billion works

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Increased donations by 18% in the first year with a well designed and streamlined donation process

Content Strategy
Discovery Facilitation
Information Architecture
User Experience Planning

Multi-stakeholder discovery facilitation

We started with an exhaustive content audit, cross-referencing analytics. We then liaised with a globally distributed team to collaborate on a shared vision for the updated site. Working with a distributed team across an extensive web ecosystem, an internal development team, and many moving parts to their work, the challenge was to learn enough about the system to understand the pieces while still maintaining momentum.

In our discovery work, we documented and prioritized CC systems and processes while keeping a steadfast focus on the objectives of our current project. This holistic approach allowed us to set a roadmap for future development, while not getting bogged down or diverting budget from implementing our key deliverables.

You were adept at taking in a ton of information and opinions and distilling them all into a series of clear and manageable steps/decisions and then ultimately into one cohesive vision/product.

Rebecca Lendl, Director of Development
Creative Commons Responsive website design
We created an image gallery to showcase the vibrancy and diversity of the 1.1 billion works of the commons – from photos to science, education, digital tools and more.

Making it easier to use, and understand Creative Commons

One of the goals for the redesign was to simplify the content and organizational structure, creating easy pathways for all audiences — both laymen and experts — to find what they need.

We restructured the content and navigation, simplifying key aspects of what Creative Commons is about (their mission and vision) and what it provides (licenses, search, and access to creative work).

We created a look which is clean and uncluttered, with crisp lines and clearly delineated sections, minimal text, and use of ample white space—helping the site feel easy to navigate. We encapsulated the personality of Creative Commons through a warm, bright, vibrant, daring and loud palette. 

Using an image gallery that perpetually loads, we were able to quickly illustrate the vibrancy and variety of the types of works in the commons. Each image is overlaid with an icon indicating the content type — from photos and music to science, education, digital tools and more.

I cannot tell you how excited we are for today's launch and the amazing work you all have done!!! We appreciate the care and expertise your team has brought to this project. The website is beautiful and engaging and donating feels easy! We've come so far in such a short time and we can't wait to get started on the next phase.

Rebecca Lendl, Director of Development

Creative Commons donation form and sharing steps
The new donation form makes donating feel easy and inviting, with a clear value proposition and large buttons. Sharing your work has been made easier as well, using icons as visual aids and breaking the process down into simple, clear steps.

Significant increase in site traffic and donations

In our original audit we noticed that there was a surprising amount of traffic on pages that pointed users to CC content or resources. The new Use and Remix section was born, which makes it simple for people to get the content they want. Now a frequently visited page, this opens an opportunity to build a closer relationship with these users.

Another win on this project was bringing the donation forms onto the site, with a donate button in the header and a donate form in the footer on the homepage and blog pages. This has allowed closer control of the donation experience, enabling Creative Commons to both ask at the right time inline and optimize the experience to make it seem simple for users. Streamlining the process, reducing the number of steps, and designing it in a friendly, user-friendly format with large buttons, pre-selected amounts and a clear value proposition all contributed to an 18% increase in donations in the first year after the launch of the new website.

An updated design has been a great victory, as it’s made the website feel inline with Creative Common’s culture and aesthetic. More than that, the website has become an effective tool for engaging and connecting with their community.

In love with the new @creativecommons website ? Great job @affinitybridge ---> <--- Check it out folks!

— Naeema (@Naeema) June 27, 2016

Other Projects We've Done With Creative Commons

State of the Commons

An animated data visualization for Creative Common's annual report illustrating the growing commons.