Saving Global Forests.


Our challenge was to release the first edition of its annual flagship publication, the Global Forest Update (GFU) as an immersive digital experience developed accessibly in Drupal. And, allow users to engage with WRI’s extensive long-form deforestation content with ease. 


The GFU is structured around seven chapters of material, each with varying immersive content types that range from written to visual to interactive. Beyond the core chapters, complementary content (e.g., an article/blog post) will be published on an ongoing basis. Though technically a report, many readers may not read it front to back and prefer to browse for information that most interests them while also discovering new content. 


With the overall user experience (UX) in mind, New Target designed a user interface (UI) that makes the GFU a highly consumable product. While the information architecture (IA) is generally informed at the start (e.g., the seven chapters), we were committed to a meaningful study of various other UX elements, including the primary navigation, and particularly how it adapts to mobile viewports. We designed a reading experience that readily conveys to users the value of the report and ultimately the value of our forests.

The IA effectively brings together the various content types into a pleasurable (and performance-minded) reading experience. We looked for subtle ways to bring the page to life and guide readers through the content (e.g., scroll-based triggers, lazy loading of assets, rich ambient background elements). In addition, we needed to integrate the new website with to make the GFU a part of their broader digital experience with the World Resources Institute. All material can be immediately shared with asset-level sharing capabilities.

Design & Creative Vision

Being that the GFU exists as a WRI product, we focused on the organization’s core visual voice and brand standards.

GFU looked to us for creative direction on the best ways to marry institutional design patterns with a new energetic and unique GFU look and feel to express a personality all its own.

New visualizations created and designed by both New Target and the WRI team were included with the help of the Flourish integration.


Using Paragraphs and Panels in Drupal, we provided the ability to use different layouts when viewing different node types (or other entity/bundle combinations). Specialized landing pages were built as specialized Page Manager pages, many with their own layouts. All of the different full node displays were handled by Page Manager, using different variants for each node type.

Tagging content is one great way to handle something like this, but for our requirements, we needed to have logic that was more robust than only showing other content with the same taxonomy terms. Search API Solr provided the interface for managing our servers and indexes, then with a custom block, we were able to leverage their content with our own boost criteria to help control how the related content lists were generated.

It hasn’t always been easy to empower content teams to easily add images and other entities to WYSIWYG fields, especially when those items need to be themed in a special way. Entity Embed allowed us to add new CKEditor buttons to the WYSIWYG that provide a dialog where the user can choose an entity that they want to appear in content, the view mode that they want it to display with, and then position it on either the left side, right side, or in the center.

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