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Founded jointly in publication with the Applied Research Center (known currently as Race Forward) in 1998, Colorlines is an online news coverage and publication organization.

News Reporting
Development/ UX

Writers and editors needed an easier way to create and edit news articles.

Drupal 7 performed sufficiently in this case, but with the encroaching end-of-life date, we sought out to provide Colorlines with an improved Drupal 8 approach. A further goal was to improve the performance of donations and outreach. We needed to consult the drawing board for a site-wide solution to address this concern, along with optimizing the existing information architecture.

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Introducing the new Layout Builder setup needed to be done in a simple and unobtrusive manner to Colorlines writers. Meeting this measure included designing an easy to operate interface. On top of this, we needed to contemplate further on how we would need to meld the new design to this new editorial process.

Moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8’s Layout Builder meant a change of how content needed to be structured. Through careful analysis of how articles were previously laid out, we needed to ensure presentation was consistent after moving to Layout Builder.


By creating and styling the necessary building blocks, we succeeded in delivering a much needed overhaul to the content authoring experience for Colorlines writers.

Colorlines Solutions

Simplified layouts and various recurring blocks were built into the new Drupal 8 site, giving editors quick access to the right tools for delivering new articles to readers. We concluded a form of personalization would be the best answer to address the outreach and donations goal.

Old Moon Digital built a custom recommendation engine to be employed as the main foundation to improve metrics in both of these areas. Based on the reader’s interaction of the website, dynamic recommendations presented various other related articles in a soft and non-intrusive manner. This allowed the reader to easily explore content on Colorlines, guiding them towards both trending articles and lesser, but relevant publications.

Colorlines Personalization

By studying the types of content Colorlines promoted most frequently, we were able to rebuild the information architecture of the new site. This was shipped with automated user engagement metrics, identifying interested followers and presenting them with an easy way to donate back to Colorlines.