International Alert

A streamlined site for a global peacebuilding organisation

Image of the International Alert homepage

Project overview

Global peacebuilding organisation International Alert has a proven track record of achieving change in fragile and conflict-affected countries and territories for over 30 years, and we were honored to work with them on their new 2021 website, as part of their strategy to focus their message for a more specific audience.

As a result of our work, the new, streamlined International Alert website saw an increase in site traffic of more than 150% post launch. The new site is also much faster, with our low carbon approach making it 72% cleaner than the previous version.


  • In depth discovery
  • Streamlined site design
  • Interactive map 
  • Multi-Language
  • Flexible content


CO2 per page view




Page load

“The website is lightening fast! I’m impressed every-time it loads! Amazing! Thanks so much all.”

Livi De Santos, Communications Manager

In depth Discovery

As with all of our websites, we took an in-depth, discovery first approach to building the new International Alert site. 

In line with their updated 2019 – 2023 strategy, International Alert had already identified the main audience they wanted their new site to appeal to, with a focus on three main areas – donors and partners, policy-makers and opinion shapers. 


Image of a miro board illustrating discovery for a sample user personas

In our discovery sessions, we worked with the International Alert team to create detailed user personas, and map out user journeys for these audiences, as well as for academic and media audiences. This allowed us to focus on the content that we would need to highlight with our design.

Streamlined site design

Following our work in discovery, we identified for areas of focus:

  • Expertise – Explaining the methods and approaches of International Alert’s work
  • Locations – Showing the work International Alert does across the world, by country/territory
  • Insights – Highlighting research and publications on peacebuilding 
  • Support – Outlining ways to support International Alert’s work.
Image of the expertise page of the International Alert website

Keeping in line with International Alert’s brand guidelines, we kept the design straightforward, using the key brand colours – black to evoke a sense of urgency and yellow, to represent optimism – from their logo palette to create a simple layout with plenty of white space, making the new site much more accessible and easier to navigate.

Interactive Country Map

To make it easy for people to find the work that International Alert does globally, we created an interactive map, with custom animations so that top level information and links to each country’s page shows on hovering on that country’s pin. 

Image displaying the interactive country map showing International Alert's work around the world

The same information is also shown in text only below the map, to make this page accessible for all users.


The main languages of International Alert’s audience are primarily English and French, followed by Russian and Arabic. To ensure that the new website catered for all audiences, we needed to re-create their limited multilingual sites in Arabic, French and Russian.

Flexible content

The site also needed to allow for infrequent pages in additional languages (e.g. Ukrainian, Burmese), with a mix of translated pages and some standalone content.

The type of work varies from country to country, so we created the country pages using flexible content blocks with different levels of admin access. This allows the teams in each country to have ownership over what they share.

The team at International Alert were over the moon with their new, improved site.

Thank you Wholegrain for such a wonderful site.

Image of Livi de Santos from International Alert

Livi de Santos