US Air Force Digital, Case study by GSD&M Austin

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Industry Government & Other Authorities
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Case study
Market United States
Agency GSD&M Austin
Executive Creative Director Tom Gilmore, Jeff Maki
Creative Director Travis Waid, Cheyenne Gallion
Copywriter Shannon Holstein
Creative Bo Bradbury, Norah Rudyk
Production MediaMonks
Released September 2016


One Show 2017
Ux / Ui Web: User Experience Silver
Ux / Ui Craft: Interface Design Merit
Ux / Ui Mobile: User Experience Merit

Credits & Description

Brand: U.s. Air Force
Corporate Name of Client: U.S. Air Force
Account Directors: Norah Rudyk/Bo Bradbury
Account Supervisor: Elissa Pate
Strategist: Elizabeth Thompson
Agency: GSD&M, Austin
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Directors: Tom Gilmore/Jeff Maki
Creative Directors: Cheyenne Gallion/Travis Waid
Copywriter: Shannon Lorenzen
Agency Producer: Bethany Newman
Production Company: Media Monks, New York
Director of Experience: Derek Dollahite
The creative idea behind the relaunch of was to create a career discovery tool instead of a recruitment website. This idea embraces the cultural tension between young people growing up today in a world of personalization and the perceptions many of them have about the military, which mostly presents itself as uniform, constant and rigid. In order to break through and change perceptions, we knew we would have to completely reinvent what a military site was. is the front door to our brand and the greatest source of leads. Therefore, we undertook a complete redesign with an entirely new approach—don’t recruit, connect.
Over 18 months, we researched, planned, designed and developed an experience that creates custom journeys for more than 800,000 users a month. Design began with extensive research into how our target demographic makes decisions and what they find compelling and inspiring. We then worked through a process of UX design and prototyping to not just create a single user flow through the site, but a system of content delivery that dynamically adapts to the specific interests and motivations of each individual. The site’s look got a complete overhaul as well and was designed to appeal to the heritage of the Air Force while creating an updated look that’s more in line with the high-tech and immersive technological world they’re a part of, highlighted by full-frame photos, dynamic graphics and bold typography. We created an updated and responsive site that elevates the way we talk to people by focusing on each user’s personal behavior. By doing this, we’re able to engage with each visitor by creating a journey that’s tailored to them and their wants and needs in a way that allows them to discover more about themselves and how they may fit into the Air Force story.
The site learns and adapts to serve each user a unique site customized to their interests, life stage and motivations in real time. Every interaction on the site is designed to gather data and learn more. With every new question they answer or page they visit, we’re able to tag their profile so we can update the imagery, adjust copy and suggest more relevant pathways in a way that speaks to them more personally.