Philadelphia Media Network (Philly.com)

Reinventing Philadelphia's homepage

mobile view of an article

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Philadelphia Media Network owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the newspapers’ joint web portal Philly.com.

Philly.com is a well-known online source for Philadelphia-area news, featuring content from both the Inquirer and Daily News, along with its own unique content. Philly.com reaches a larger audience than any other media property in the region, with 2.2 million monthly unique visitors spending an average time of 16 minutes on the site each.

Happy Cog partnered with Dan Mall’s SuperFriendly and industry veteran Josh Clark from big medium to redesign Philly.com, with the goals of improving user experience across all devices, boosting online revenue, and increasing design system flexibility.

What was important to us was user experience, and really focusing on mobile and making that work as well as we possibly could.

—Eric Ulken, Philly.com

Eric Ulken on working with the Happy Cog team on the Philly.com redesign.

To improve user experience across all devices, we chose typefaces that reflected the existing brand but were much easier to read on screen. We arranged article pages to present the right information at the right time—making for a more efficient and pleasant reading experience. The site’s strategic shift in priorities put readability over advertising, which increased page loads due to third-party code. The new site offers feature parity across all devices, so nothing is lost between desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Ad placement was reconsidered and adjusted through a mix of improved placement, density and viewability. We worked to find the right balance between ads and user experience.

 

Before its redesign, many editors and producers voiced frustration at what they felt to be a rigid design system for Philly.com. We designed a system that allows for the possibility of homepage and article variations that match the kind, importance, and urgency of the information at hand. This more flexible system allowed for producers can spend more time giving article pages the love they deserve.

*Source: comScore Multi-Platform, comScore Media-Metrix and comScore Mobile Metrix; March 2015

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