International Rescue Committee

Rescue.org: Design and Strategy for IRC's Global Site

A Responsive Site for the World’s First Responders


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and has helped millions of people rebuild lives shattered by conflict, disaster and poverty. Being one of the world’s most respected charities, Code and Theory was honored to be appointed to redesign its global website and help bring its online presence into the responsive age.

Where IRC previously had a variety of sites lacking a clear and cohesive voice, the new site needed to act as the central hub for promoting the many global programs and initiatives run by the IRC to a wider audience and demographic.

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Raising the Profile


The brief called for a design to widen IRC’s audience across the greater public and institutions. It also needed to increase digital donation revenue by more compellingly demonstrating how effectively its work helps millions of people affected by conflict and disaster.

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How can we increase visibility among IRC supporters and use them to bring in new supporters and partners?

Own Your Brand and Your Audience—


As one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations, IRC has a rich history of thought leadership in the field. Its previous site, however, did not adequately present this legacy. High quality resources were often buried deep within the information architecture, not given adequate prominence, and weren’t always used in a way that created an emotional connection with visitors. As a result, IRC as a whole lacked a compelling brand narrative online.

One of the goals of the new design was to emotionally engage visitors and deepen their connection with IRC’s beneficiaries, staff and ultimately IRC itself.

Reaching Out

Code and Theory reassessed and explored new ways for IRC to present its pioneering evidence-based approach and impressive efficacy statistics. Part of the solution was the creation of shareable "impact cards," which display bold animated statistics alongside icons from a custom symbol system. Used independently they present relevant key facts; combined together they visually communicate the vast diversity of the work IRC accomplishes.


Impact statistics don’t have to be dull and boring, and our solution brings awareness to the need-to-know essentials whilst allowing institutional and governmental users to dive deeper.

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Taking Users Into the Field

Rich media such as video and high quality photography are given featured position throughout the site through the use of interactive story maps, featured quotes from beneficiaries, and media galleries.

When combined with deeply-immersive long-form content they create layers of emotional depth and a powerful narrative about the humans behind its programs—turning visitors of rescue.org into committed supporters of the International Rescue Committee.

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Crisis Reporting With Rich Data

This project was also about rethinking how IRC can ensure that crucial data, news and information is available to relevant reporters and news organizations.

The strategy for doing this was twofold: first, by simplifying the site's information architecture so that visitors can quickly find the information they want, whether it be a current crisis, country based program, or a higher level topic. Secondly, we created templates that allow IRC to provide up-to-date crisis reporting; Rich data visualizations, live stats from the ground and interactive maps can be incorporated into IRC’s comprehensive analysis to magnify its influence.

The refreshed site serves as a platform from which IRC can increase its profile and cement its position as a thought leader in the field.

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A Progressive Trendsetter


The reinvigorated digital experience positions IRC as the trendsetting, forward-thinking brand they aspire to be. Through this future-proof platform they are able to share their unrivaled content and communicate their core values in a fresh and dynamic way.