The National Constitution Center (NCC), was established by an act of Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.” Considering the wildly disparate views on topics like freedom of speech, privacy and gun control, this is easier said than done.
How, then, could the NCC present credible -- yet contradictory -- perspectives on clauses and amendments of the Constitution? The solution that we reached with the NCC was to present jointly authored “common” interpretations on topics, with counterpoint interpretations from recognized scholars taking contrasting positions.
This approach allowed website visitors to first become familiar with the fundamental analysis of a Constitutional element (e.g. - The 2nd Amendment). Thereafter, visitors may explore more contested interpretations from two experts with opposing views. The result is that visitors not only learn the commonly agreed analysis of the Constitution, but also come to understand the myriad views that are debated by scholars and in courts.
Pedrera built the Interactive Constitution as a microsite within the NCC’s core ExpressionEngine CMS. By doing so, the content of the main website and the Interactive Constitution may be cross-referenced to create navigation paths and highlight related content between the two sites. For instance, each Constitutional Amendment’s landing page displays associated learning resources, events and blog posts.
The Interactive Constitution has been a monumental success. The site receives over 10 million page views per year, and it ranks at the top of highly competitive search terms. The website has been discussed on CNN by Michael Smerconish, and covered by USA Today, The Washington Post, and other media outlets. The site has been so successful, in fact, that Pedrera was engaged by the NCC to convert the website into an app for iOS (Apple) and Android.