Website Redesign for Online Publisher
Role: Research, Design, Strategy
Date: Feb – Aug 2018
Dear Blogger is an online publisher serving over 250,000 readers. On the site, 30 writers share information about blogging and making websites. I was responsible for modernizing the Dear Blogger website and making it user-friendly.
Exploring the Current Design
At the outset, the CEO walked me through the website, the business structure, and the areas that needed improvement. I learned about the site’s customers/readers and the tools used to measure their engagement and customer conversions. I spearheaded adding analytics to the site that would give the business valuable insights into which articles were performing the best.
I researched the existing website’s interface in order to find areas for improvement. I also researched the site’s users so that the redesign would serve their needs.
I recruited 5 test subjects who were interested in blogging, but hadn’t yet visited the Dear Blogger website.
During the study, users were encouraged to think out loud as they interacted with the website (link to study script). They completed several tasks which helped us assess specific site features.
Critical user feedback:
Surveys helped us learn more about customers’ backgrounds and interests.
Motivations for blogging:
The Different Types of Users
User demographics and personas were also considered but are kept confidential.
I identified two site metrics that could be improved to benefit the company: user bounce rate and the returning users.
The bounce rate was high (the proportion of users who view only one page before leaving the site). One change that improved this metric, was the addition of related article links at the end of pages.
According to research done by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. In order to improve the returning users metric, I focused on increasing newsletter subscriptions. I added pop-ups that invite the reader to subscribe. Knowing that forceful pop-ups deter users, I used a gentle form that only appears after a reader demonstrates significant interest in the content.
Business Development Opportunity
Finding that there was an influx of web development requests, I created a survey to manage the demand. This enabled us to expedite project take-offs, filter out spam, and prioritize projects. Shortly after launching the tool, more high quality leads were becoming customers.
Interactive prototypes made using Sketch & Invision.
Mobile Responsive Design
I also oversaw the development of mobile responsive features for the website. Making the site mobile friendly involved changing the size of the content, font size, content padding, and more.
One impactful change was increasing the mobile font size. Small text can be hard to read, causing visitors to give up before finishing an article. This is especially true of Dear Blogger, many of whose users are over the age of 50 and therefore prone to experience vision issues.
Homepage: Before & After
The project resulted in a modernized Dear Blogger website and improved customer experience.
Thank you for reading!
Work inquiry, question, or something else?
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