Overview of this campaign
- Deliver a mobile first user experience to increase the overall audience
- Create an engaging environment to deliver stories in interesting ways
- Provide a quality environment for advertisers to reach their target audience
The redesign of the NZ Herald website began with a clear goal – create a global benchmark mobile first site that engages with audiences to enable enriched storytelling.
As global media publishers are seeing, while the desktop audience is dropping, the mobile audience is rising at a rapid pace. To embrace this audience change, the project team set out to design from the smallest page first to regain audiences in their preferred environment.
Working closely with local creative agency DDB, their digital design team became an extension of our digital product team. We also engaged renowned media design experts Mario Garcia and Mario Garcia Jnr to give their expert opinion on the design direction.
Bringing together users, advertisers, and internal stakeholders from across the business, the project team gathered insights, opinions and ideas for the new site structure.
Editorial leaders needed new tools to deliver stories no matter if the news cycle was fast or slow. They needed new ways of bringing to life long form journalism and interesting ways of presenting video, photos and data journalism working equally well on a small mobile screen as the more traditional computer screen.
Audiences wanted to get the stories that mattered to them in an uncluttered, easy to navigate, purposefully designed environment.
The build of the site was carefully coordinated in Auckland, New Zealand but spanned multiple parts of the world. The NZME team was based in Auckland and worked alongside the Washington Post team in Washington as well as members of their team in Europe. This meant the build of the site could take place almost 24 hours a day, a truly phenomenal feat.
Results for this campaign
- Mobile audience increased by 58%
- The average weekly audience increased by 14%
- Engagement increased by 6% (pages per visit and average session duration)
In June 2017, the nzherald.co.nz site relaunched boasting a complete overhaul of design, content, functionality and speed.
The redesigned mobile responsive site features world-class design, driven by our audience’s needs which was the basis of our content strategy: mobile-first (bite-size content summaries); better navigation (including a left-hand side index); enhanced visual and video content (with bigger, bolder images and prominent video display).
All of this was made technically possible as we took on the huge challenge of shifting from our antiquated bespoke content management system to the Washington Post’s Arc publishing suite. This has allowed for a robust change in the way we create content and deliver it to our audiences.
We moved from a desktop driven design based on traditional newspaper user experience to a modern design that reflects mobile & social first user experience.
Our out dated technical frameworks that lead to slow page load shifted gear with the build on modern technical frameworks that speed up page load heightening a user’s mobile experience.
But it isn’t just ‘set and forget’. The NZME digital product team uses the same set of tools to create new page templates where they test the best iterations of the site design to continue to deliver the best options for audiences ongoing utilising our ‘smallest page first’ design mantra.
This was a huge effort which has truly paid off.
Mobile first experience has resonated - the mobile audience has increased by 58%.
The overall audience has grown - 22% YoY site audience growth, with the average weekly audience lifting by 14%.
Relevancy has increased – bounce rates have dropped by 6%.
Advertising results are up – click through rates on ad units have exponentially increased seeing results at 40% ahead of pre-launch numbers.
Source: Adobe DAX 2017