National Safety Council Case Study

Users who said the new site is easier to use

Goal: Evaluate, Propose + Implement A New Digital Footprint

The mission of National Safety Council (NSC) is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, and in communities. For over 100 years, NSC has conducted research, advocated for best practices, and provided education on safety. Their educational resources help businesses, government, and consumers be safe in everyday activities.

NSC had several public sites and portals with an immense amount of information but they knew their content was not as findable and usable as it should be. They also needed their website to balance education and advocacy with various commercial activities. NSC also wanted to empower their marketing team to publish relevant content directly to the site, without waiting for IT.

TUG Approach: Making The Complex Clear

NSC website prior to TUG engagement circa 2012

NSC partnered with TUG to envision and implement a new digital place. NSC leadership wanted a unified and flexible website platform that would support learning, advocacy, and connections with the National Safety Council.


Our initial task was to evaluate the digital footprint of the National Safety Council and realign it with their long-term business objectives.

We sought to:

  1. Understand the business. We spoke with NSC leadership to understand the commercial and advocacy efforts as well as the history of the National Safety Council.

  2. Audit. We reviewed existing NSC digital properties, analytics, marketing, CRM, and business processes to inform strategy.

The project goal is to move site visitors from awareness to advocacy.

Project personas reflected different motivations and different roles in member companies.

The initial sitemap/navigation specification—with advocacy and business goals (shop) incorporated throughout.


TUG conducted more than 30 stakeholder and user interviews. User research themes emerged, including the need to:

  • Understand the value of NSC membership

  • Personalize to individual and company needs

  • Be a resource and partner

  • Speak to the users (aka “Person Like Me”), and understand their social needs and tendencies

  • Provide paths to development excellence

  • Simplify the experience

TUG created a high-level model of the information ecosystem, describing the flow of information and the interrelationships within the advocacy and commerce sections of NSC content.

NSC and TUG agreed that the project goal should be to help people go from passive to active engagement with safety: from nonmember to engaged member, from observer to valued contributor.

Synthesis: NSC knew they had a lot of content and people wanted a simple and personalized experience.

Our user research themes covered individuals focused on advocacy and commerce. TUG reflected their perspectives back to project stakeholders in the form of project personas.

We proposed a simplified website structure to reflect five key activities: Join, Learn, Measure, Act, and Connect. The key activities of advocacy and commerce would be integrated into content throughout the site, rather than separating them into separate tabs.

TUG coached us every step of the way to optimally present our content. They provided perspective and challenged us to think digitally to better engage our audiences.
— Lyn Corbett Fitzgerald, Brand Communications


TUG provided NSC content staff with key principles of content strategy. Our partner, the Whole Brain Group, provided inbound marketing training.

TUG provided detailed website specifications. First, we created rough hand-drawn mockups on butcher paper for discussion. These were formalized in detailed wireframe specifications for thirty site pages.

Next, for flexible implementation of new content in their SharePoint content management system, TUG designed twelve content templates.

Built into the template structure is a macro content strategy representing business and advocacy goals:

  • “Business” content (in blue) is on the left.

  • “Advocacy” content (in purple) is on the right.

  • The grey is undesignated space.

NSC and TUG collaborated on two requests for proposal: one for visual design and one for implementation of the design and templates in SharePoint. TUG supported both Visual Hero, the design partner, and GDI Infotech, the development partner, through site implementation.

Development sketch

Content strategy planning tool

New site’s homepage shortly after launch

TUG didn’t just take the work away, bring it back finished, and then leave. They put tools in our hands and taught us how to help ourselves, to be self-sufficient.
— Linda Swift, CIO