Humanitarian Practice Network

Helping the Humanitarian sector have better access to information

Image of the Humanitarian Practice Network website homepage

Project overview

The Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) is an independent forum for policy-makers, practitioners and others working in the humanitarian sector. It was established in 1994 by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), which is part of global affairs think tank ODI.

HPN invited us to redesign their old WordPress website in 2021, bringing it up to date post pandemic. The new site is cleaner, faster and also now includes member features and a digital version of HPN’s Humanitarian Exchange magazine.


  • Powerful new search function
  • Mega Menu
  • Member features
  • Digital magazine




Lighthouse Accessibility score


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Discovering HPN’s audience

To make sure we created a website that met the needs of all users, we began with our in-depth discovery process. This meeting at Somerset House was one of our first in-person meetings since the pandemic began!


Image of discovery day. The team and clients are sitting or standing in front of a wall of post-it notes, discussing the content

It was really exciting to be able to bounce ideas around in person, reviewing who uses the HPN website, and creating user personas to map their online journeys before beginning our design process.

Mega menu

We designed and developed a detailed ‘mega menu’, that allows users to navigate through hierarchical terms from the top level menu, including a range of publications, topics, regions and countries within these.

From the top menu, users can also submit articles for publication.

Powering up the search function

Being a repository for rich humanitarian content, the website needed a much more powerful search and filter system to make it more intuitive for visitors to the site.

To achieve this, we introduced a range of taxonomies in the back-end, to help better categorise the wealth of content.

Member features

Visitors to the website have the option of signing up to be a member of the network. Signing up allows members to:

  • Be notified when new articles are published
  • Bookmark favourite articles to come back to at a later date
  • Comment on articles and interact with other HPN members
  • Help the HPN team translate articles to make the information accessible to more people
  • Access the HPN author database, and email authors directly.

Humanitarian Exchange online magazine

HPN publish a magazine called the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine. We created a fully digital version of this magazine, including an archive of previous issues, for the new website.

The content pages we created for each magazine makes it easy for users to navigate the online version, and there is also an option to download a pdf version of the magazine to read offline.