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by Sarah Rose Belok

Employees crave feedback- they want to know how they’re doing at their job and what it will take to progress in their career. But while the field of professional performance management is saturated with research about common frameworks, innovation is sparse. As an agency that aligns with Continuous Performance Management (CPM) — a new trend stating that, “a company has a share in the responsibility of supporting employees desire to improve and grow in what they do”, the quality of our internal performance management process is a critical part of how we operate and how we…


By Brandon Fields and Christina Deemer

Headless sites built off of WordPress are a growing presence on the web, used for their ability to take the best parts of two different technologies. They allow for complete flexibility of design and interface on the front end, while also capitalizing on the ease of use and stability of WordPress for the editing and back end experience.

What is a Headless WordPress Site?

Simply put, a headless WordPress site uses WordPress for managing content and a custom frontend stack to display content. …


by Tim Schwartz

In 2020 there were a tremendous number of tips that came to newsrooms directly from whistleblowers. From the FinCen files, Trump’s taxes, continued revelations of sexual harrasment, discrimination and unequitable treatment within organizations, and many in the healthcare fields speaking up. But, how can a newsroom make sure that they are the one that a source turns to?

Before the pandemic, my book A Public Service: Whistleblowing, Disclosure, and Anonymity was released. The book is a guide for a would-be whistleblower to safely reveal information to the public with a focus on working with partners in the…


by Renato Alves

WordPress is going through some fantastic changes right now. Over the past few years, we are seeing a move to a better editing experience with the block editor, aka, Gutenberg. An improvement in development experience in the PHP side, and after the REST API landed in the core of the most-used CMS, it opened several doors for the growing headless space, where several sites and companies are using WordPress as a CMS but delivering it via a fast and interactive front-end.

Much of this success can be ascribed to the latter: ongoing use of Javascript — React…


by Austin Smith

Accessibility is a topic close to our hearts here at Alley as a matter not of technical compliance but of inclusive product design. Inclusive design holds that “disability” is as much a function of the product as it is the user, and that in fact, there is no typical user.

America’s legal system, unfortunately, lags far behind current practice. I learned from David Lat’s excellent newsletter that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found, in Gil v. …


by Rebecca Viser

Recently, Jeff Stanger wrote a post on vetting a web firm, after seeing non-profit site managers bemoan the pain that can be caused by a bad site build.

While it is crucial to hire a good web development firm, there are also some steps that you can take internally to make for a better build. A “mess of code” can be caused because the developers at the web development firm aren’t experienced enough to write simple code, or they don’t have processes in place to ensure that all code pushed to sites is well-written. …


by Sarah Rose Belok

I am proud to share the work of my colleagues Max MacMillan and Michael Muniz who exemplify our employee-driven momentum and commitment to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace at Alley. In collaboration, they designed and led a company-wide Equity Challenge over 21 days. I am excited (and honored!) to share it with you with hope that you’ll be inspired to follow suit.

This format was based on the work of Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks to provide a framework for people to study, question, and communicate around topics…


by Jeff Stanger

Alley works every day with some of the largest and most prestigious non-profit publishers in the world, including prominent research organizations, foundations, academic institutions, and government agencies. In a recent discussion among leaders in the sector, a communications executive raised challenges that her organization had in maintaining a poorly coded website, giving her pause on using a web agency at all for their next project.

“[We] are frustrated over the mess of code created by the agency who did our last site design… What suggestions do you have for how to manage the project to avoid the…


by Jo Murgel

A silhouette of a building crane and three construction workers against a pale yellow sky

Demo Link

At Alley, we do a lot of work with data. Whether it measures entrepreneurial trends in the US, visualizing state health data, or informing the public of correlations in education and workforce data, the applications we build are continually digesting new data from countless sources and challenged with clearly presenting that data.

Ideally, a project would begin with a full dataset. However, clients don’t always have control over when the data arrives or may often want to publicly share data as it’s collected rather than after everything has become available. In that case, how do…


by Susan Finkelpearl

Website redesign projects have many stakeholders who serve varying audiences with varying needs. Without careful planning, projects can be derailed by many cooks in the kitchen. With a little structure, however, you can plan your stakeholder involvement such that they provide valuable inputs and are assured that the project is progressing well.

  • Early phase: Interview department heads and C-suite leadership. Discuss their needs and pain points. For the Brookings Institution, we spent a full summer interviewing delegates from research departments, product teams, and global offices. …

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We are strategists, researchers, designers, and developers who craft digital experiences for publishers, nonprofit institutions, museums, and brands. alley.co

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