thestar.com, Toronto Star, SMG Digital
Overview of this campaign
- Build a news site using React technology to provide a flexible framework allowing for accelerated product iteration in a rapidly changing environment.
- Develop storytelling tools for journalists to deliver content in highly engaged, device-relevant ways.
- Create a mobile-first website incorporating reader data and input to deliver best-in-class journalism to our audience, recognizing the shift in their behaviour to greater mobile consumption.
Results for this campaign
- In the early spring of 2016, we launched a redesigned responsive beta version of thestar.com. For two months, we ran two websites (legacy and beta) while soliciting reader feedback on the redesigned version through surveys and conducted thorough A/B testing. Over 4,000 people responded to the survey with 13% providing specific mobile feedback on the beta site.
- The new design officially launched in May 2016, taking into account reader feedback from the beta site, and led to the implementation of changes that resulted in smartphone increases of 73% in pageviews—the highest growth when compared to direct market competitors—67% in visits, and 31% in unique visitors (comScore, April-December 2016). Weekly reader feedback continues to inform our ongoing iteration.
- Increased number of application deployments by 80% YOY to drive product forward and meet changing needs of readers, journalists, and advertisers.
- Improved digital storytelling by creating greater flexibility in the site templates and enabled more third-party integrations.
- Changes to mobile experience led to increased site speed and stability.
- Reduced infrastructure costs for the business.