TSET Website Redesign


Established by voters, the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) is a state grant-making trust devoted to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease, Oklahoma’s leading causes of death. By awarding grants to schools, communities, state agencies and partner organizations, TSET works to improve the health of Oklahoma’s citizens by preventing and reducing tobacco use and obesity.

As TSET’s flagship communication platform, its website acts as the “front door” of the organization. It’s an essential communication tool for TSET’s various constituencies. The existing website had not been redesigned since 2009 and was ill-suited for the needs of the organization. It was also not responsive to mobile devices, a key issue in an age of exponential mobile growth. A complete overhaul was necessary to provide a website experience that met users’ content and technological needs.

TSET’s website was part of the State of Oklahoma system of sites, and it utilized a custom analytics platform through the state system. Unfortunately, this platform became inoperable in late 2015, and all previous analytics were unavailable.

In April 2016, Google Analytics were implemented on the site, allowing for greater insight. In studying the results, we set benchmarks in key site statistics, including:

  • Bounce Rate: 46.25%
  • Average Session Duration: 2 minutes and 48 seconds
  • Pages/Session: 2.76 pages

In addition, we studied mobile users to see if the lack of a responsive website was truly a barrier. While desktop users exhibited a bounce rate of 42.8%, mobile users had a bounce rate of nearly 60%. They also had dramatically shorter sessions and visited fewer pages per session on average.


  • Increase pages per session by 8.6% to 3.00 pages per session
  • Lower bounce rate by 4.9% to 44.0%
  • Increase average session duration by 7.1% to 3:00 minutes


To begin the redesign process, TSET first evaluated the key audiences who would be using the site. Four main groups were identified:

  1. The Public: As an organization created by the people through a constitutional amendment, TSET has an obligation to report findings to the public. Ultimately, this group needs to know how and where TSET’s grant dollars are being spent.
  2. Potential Grantees: TSET is a grant-making organization, so potential grantees must be able to find information on various types of grants, as well as how to apply for them.
  3. Current Grantees and Staff: Current grantees and staff are already aware of TSET’s work, but need to access documents and information that allow them to do their jobs.
  4. Media and Legislators: Because TSET funds other organizations, the media and elected officials serve as watchdogs. This group needs access to documents and reports demonstrating TSET’s financial responsibility and transparency.


Once these groups were defined, we identified the needs of each audience. Next, we revised the site structure and developed content to meet those needs.

The site structure allows users to quickly find a listing of all TSET grants and programs. In addition, the site contains infographics that visually illustrate TSET’s objectives and the impact it’s having on the health of citizens.

As a state organization, TSET’s website was subject to design templates and policies set by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES). While TSET is a state agency, it operates without legislatively appropriated dollars, using part of its independent budget to contract with VI. This gave TSET access to VI’s web development team who could expedite the redesign process. The process was originally scheduled to last more than one year.

Through a unique partnership between VI and the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), TSET was able to wholly recreate its website in a responsive platform in less than three months.

The site launched June 30, 2016.


In the time since the site launched, results have been positive.

  • Increase pages per session by 8.6% to 3.00 pages per session
    – Pages per session have increased by 17.6%, from 2.76 to 3.25.
  • Lower bounce rate by 4.9% to 44.0%
    – The bounce rate has dropped by 7.6%, from 46.25% to 42.73%.
  • Increase average session duration by 7.1% to 3:00 minutes
    – Average session duration has increased by 12.0%, from 2:48 to 3:11.

These results demonstrate the impact the new website is having on users, providing them with a more robust and informative experience.


VI Marketing and Branding has been the TSET Media Services partner since 2007. Created by voters in 2000, TSET is an endowment trust established with payments from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and the tobacco industry. Funds are invested by a Board of Investors and only the earnings from those investments are used by a Board of Directors to support efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans.

Customized health communication interventions are proven to be one of the most effective strategies for reducing tobacco use and promoting healthy behaviors in a population. Sometimes referred to as ‘advertising,’ these interventions are programmatic efforts designed to improve the knowledge, attitudes and healthy behaviors of specific, targeted audiences over time. Health communication interventions consist of researched, tested and evaluated public health-focused marketing campaigns with coordinated elements for earned, paid and owned content.

The goal of TSET’s investments in health communication interventions is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death in our state – cancer and cardiovascular disease – by preventing and reducing the two main risk factors – obesity and tobacco use. Through rigorous evaluation, TSET health communication interventions – Tobacco Stops With Me, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline and Shape Your Future – are proven to increase healthy lifestyle choices by Oklahomans.