How do you update a 150-year-old brand for the digital age?
Readers of The Nation are a different breed. They don’t just want to read about critical issues — they want to get involved, right wrongs, and create change.
The redesigned website gave readers opportunity to take action and enabled writers and editors to easily curate content for a more visually varied — yet coherent — experience.
After more than a century of masterful print communications, The Nation needed to rethink their digital experience.
The challenges they were facing are common to many brands: expanding their audience; increasing site visits and ad revenue; deepening relationships with readers; unifying disparate channels; and evolving to meet the demands of a rapid-response world.
Our engagement started with an in-depth digital strategy phase where we established forward-looking recommendations for technology platforms, user experience, internal infrastructure, and revenue model opportunities. Next, we tackled a full redesign which launched 150 years to the day after their founding. The new experience aimed to keep The Nation at the forefront of independent journalism for the next generation — while driving new revenue.
Designed for The Nation reader
Every week The Nation publishes about 70 articles, which are distributed to 1.2 million Twitter followers, 620,000 Facebook fans, and more than 225,000 email subscribers. The site was designed to enhance their experience, while encouraging content sharing and action taking. We moved the layout of the homepage away from a trendy, simplistic grid to offer something more complex and rewarding. Beautiful fonts and a variety of image fields pull readers into the each article, and prominent share tools, Twitter quotes, and a “highlight to email/tweet” function make them easy to share. A robust new taxonomy and a continuous scroll seamlessly connect readers to related content. The new website experience introduces “take action” opportunities in editorial contexts that blur the line between journalism and advocacy.
Supporting writers and editors
Beyond the reader, the new experience needed to improve the lives of the writers and editors. Twenty-four different modules enable editors to showcase not just today’s top stories, but the full depth of The Nation’s coverage. Editors can choose to cluster related stories in meaningful ways, or offer readers varied entry points into the news by highlighting subjects, authors, and content from the magazine to help them better understand the political and historical context of today’s events.
Overall, the site blends a sense of urgency and timeliness with the provocative and prescient coverage that is The Nation’s hallmark.