IAFF.org Redesign

  • IAFF
  • Challenge

    The International Association of Fire Fighters needed a website that showcases their impact and addresses the varied needs of its 340,000+ members and 3,500+ affiliates.

  • Solution

    Thoughtful user research and refreshed information architecture come to life through a bold design inspired by fire fighting, built on a simplified WordPress architecture.

  • Results

    A long-lasting, flexible system that dramatically improves the user experience and content findability for all user groups.

Answering the call. The labor union behind nearly every advancement in fire and emergency services in the 21st century, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) provides critical services, resources, and advocacy for over 340,000 fire fighters and paramedics in the US and Canada. While IAFF.org was intended to be an essential platform for delivering on their mission, its outdated set-up and confusing organization were major barriers. Together with the IAFF, we created a website whose navigation, structure, and modern implementation can handle the sheer scale of their content (over 2,000 pages) — and their promise to members in more than 3,500 affiliates.

  • Research & Discovery Learning from the best

    As part of an initial research and discovery phase, Viget quickly got up to speed and documented the current website’s content and structure while gleaning deep insights about end-user needs. Our research activities included a focus group with the IAFF Executive Leadership team; a survey to IAFF staff members; in-person moderated interviews with fire fighters and paramedics at an IAFF Health & Safety Symposium; analysis of performance data and technical infrastructure; and an extensive audit of existing site content. We learned that members were struggling to find what they needed; and that, despite abundant content, the site lacked information about the IAFF and its membership benefits, priorities, advocacy, and legislative accomplishments. With these insights in hand, we had the all-clear to tell a different story.

  • In-person user testing and a complex audit of existing IA
    This map showcases the complexity of IAFF's ecosystem.
  • Updated Information Architecture A structural overhaul

    IAFF.org serves as the central hub for information about services, events, training, and leadership resources as well as timely news and updates. However, as IAFF’s audience comprises four distinct groups (members, leadership, staff, and the general public which includes legislators), clarity and findability were key. We focused the consistent and universal multi-level navigation on high-level, topic-based content categories (e.g., Advocacy, Health & Safety). The new information architecture empowers each segment to find the most relevant content — that reflects their specific needs, interests, and permissions — thereby maximizing the site's impact and value to all users.

  • Creative Strategy Inspired by the work

    With over 100 years of life-saving endeavors and union pride, IAFF’s website overhaul offered a unique opportunity to showcase their purpose — and newly refreshed brand — in a boldly reimagined design. We depicted the dedication and durability of IAFF’s mission by leveraging a combination of tactile, modern textures and earnest, impactful, personality-driven photography that both emphasize the work IAFF and its members do. The system we developed provides structure for clear, well-designed pages while creating space for unique type and content pairings that empower IAFF to leverage their site during important moments. Combined with new pages that emphasize IAFF’s advocacy activities and increase awareness around membership, the new design is poised to inspire fellow IAFF members.

  • The typography hierarchy of IAFF
  • Screenshot of IAFF on a mobile device
  • Technical implementation Set up for success

    Before the redesign, there were numerous ways to manage the same types of content and multiple plugins that were either similarly redundant or simply obsolete. Like a fire hose, WordPress is flexible and durable — but it wasn’t being used correctly, which frustrated content managers and left the site open to performance issues. We decided to leverage WordPress and its default editor, Gutenberg, to deliver a simplified and consistent content management experience. By restructuring content, primarily replacing tabbed content with child pages, we made content management significantly easier while also providing major SEO benefits. Built to last, the all-new website will maximize impact and inspire members for years to come.

  • "IAFF members do strong and bold work every day in communities across the United States and Canada. Working with Viget allowed us to create a website that reflects that commitment, while clearly communicating our union’s purpose and work to current and future members, the public, elected officials, and other stakeholders."

    Ryan Heffernan Head of Communications


By crafting a modern IAFF.org that effectively communicates their mission, membership services, and advocacy efforts, we helped the International Association of FIre Fighters better serve their 340,000+ members, leaders, and staff.