Tax Notes: Evolving Tax Analysis for the Future

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Decorative brand element

About the Client

Tax Analysts is the only nonpartisan tax policy organization dedicated to improving tax systems on a state, federal, and international level. Their international subscriber base of tax professionals depends on their comprehensive and impartial coverage of tax news — while its commentary contributes important voices to the discussion and understanding of tax policy.

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Strengthening a Leading Tax Community Brand

Tax Analysts recognized the need to evolve their brand and a clunky website built on legacy technology to maintain their position as leaders in the tax community. LookThink was commissioned to revamp their branding, design and build a new website, and create a mobile app to cater to on-the-go subscribers.

Primary Goal

Transform and Evolve Critical Online Properties

Audience / Users

Customers, Subscribers, and Prospects

Related Technologies

Drupal, HTML/CSS, Javascript, Elastic Search

The Challenge

  • Strengthen the Tax Notes brand
  • Rebuild the legacy website to enhance content and products
  • Optimize the experience for mobile users


Prioritize Product Needs

We spoke with users from each of Tax analyst's three flagship products and internal staff to identify pain points and prioritize their needs. This initial research and planning with all stakeholders laid the groundwork for the architecture of the new Drupal-based platform. Important considerations included:

  • Taxonomy
  • Navigation
  • Content organization
  • Advanced search
  • Security
  • Personalization
  • Mobile delivery — both responsive and via downloadable app
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The solution

Distinguishing the Product to Strengthen the Brand

After an extensive information architecture phase, our attention turned to branding and visual design. We conducted market research and analysis to recommend how Tax Analysts might best restructure their segmented brand. This resulted in the decision to better distinguish Tax Analyst’s identity as a non-profit organization from its flagship product, Tax Notes. Subscribers could visit for daily news, while the greater community would visit to learn more about their impactful work.

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Integrated a robust search functionality to maximize user efficiency

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Paved a foundation for brand expansion and a future relationship

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Organized 5-million pieces of content into a Drupal based platform

The results

The platform went live in May 2015 and accomplished the following:

  • Migrated over 5 million pieces of content from the legacy (LotusNotes-based) system to a new Drupal-based platform.
  • Established and implemented new methods of interactivity to enable more cross-product browsing by subscribers.
  • Integrated a robust search capability to facilitate access to dense tax-related content.
  • Delivered a new approach to subscription and pay-walled offerings that allows tiered access to content, while driving new registrations and increasing the user base.
  • Integrated a robust analytics capability to inform subscriber outreach and engagement programs.
  • Improved and re-shaped the editorial process to allow front-line editors greater control over the layout and content of the site’s news-heavy front page.

We are continuing to work with the team at Tax Analysts to roll out the new branding of all products, shape strategic communication plans with various subscriber groups, and launch the website.

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