The Daily Beast Site Refresh
TIMELINE: 6 MONTHS | LAUNCH: 2014
The Daily Beast homepage, article page, and wrap pages were redesigned for desktop, mobile, and tablet devices by a team of five in-house designers, including myself. The website was refeshed with the intent to create a more content-centric layout that would drive traffic and circulation, while separating us from our competitors.
54% of Beast readers come through a mobile device. They characterize the site with words like “news stories,” “headlines,” “current,” “quick,” concise,” and “important.”
The Daily Beast: Before Redesign
I sketched and explored how the navigation and flow could potentially feel, focusing on how this design could incorporate ads and interactions, and how I could condense sections for fast consumption and recirculation.
User Flows and Concepts
I narrowed my sketches down into two concrete directions. Concept direction one would be content heavy, while concept direction two would use typography and color to categorize content.
Concept Direction One
1. Top stories with deck; swipe between
2. Highlights section: photo, headline, deck
3. Navigation includes search+ wrap pages
4. Photo heavy sections, headline + author, swipe between
5. Article page: includes photo, headline, deck, author, content, social, and recirc at bottom
The final design the team landed on was a version of concept direction one, which would hold a structure similar to the desktop home page, remain image heavy, and would use interactions to hide and expose content.
Several changes were made after the initial launch of the site and after examining our analytics and getting in touch with our users. We got rid of complicated actions (i.e., swiping to reveal additional info) to allow for faster load times. We improved the visual hierarchy and established clearer sections. The site redesign resulted in a dramatically decreased bounce rate, 44% increase in mobile audience, 239% increase in social shares from mobile, and 89% increase in monthly mobile uniques. 56% of TDB average monthly audience now comes from mobile, up from 44% in 2013. 2.5M social shares from mobile, up 239% from 2013. 9.1M average monthly mobile uniques up 89% from 2013.