The website content needed to be refocused on its target audience: teenagers. With an overwhelming amount of information, statistics, and data, the Just Think Twice website deterred its young website audience. Additionally, the long and complex language lost the anti-drug message that the DEA wanted to send to its young visitors. As a result, otherwise effective messages were drowned out by other topics that didn’t resonate with the teen audience, such as how illegal drugs hurt the environment and the types of health problems the kids would experience when they reached middle-age. The site’s analytics and survey results repeatedly showed that teens were only concerned about the immediate consequences. Consistently, visitors were reading articles about being caught with drugs and how drugs affected their appearance, but not the ones about the long-term effects of drugs on their lives.
We redesigned the website to be simplified and more attractive to its target audience. Guided by our knowledge and research on how teens interact online and on their digital devices, we audited all of the content on Just Think Twice and helped the DEA choose which pieces should be deleted and which should be re-written to speak to a teen audience. Based on survey and analytics data, we re-wrote all the information about individual drugs into quick, concise profiles; added drug images; and made them searchable by the technical name and the street name. We focused on information that teens would find relevant to their everyday lives: the consequences of drug use on their grades, their student loans, their social lives, their immediate health, and on their physical appearance. We also highlighted stories about everyday teens who had overdosed to emphasize the reality of drug use. We created infographics to better represent some of the data and statistics that had been buried in text-heavy content.
When the new site launched, visitors’ time-on-site doubled in the first three months to almost seven minutes, and were viewing twice as many pages.