The Guardian Australia has axed columns in favour of blocks of content, in a complete relaunch of its website, with the publisher eyeing up mobile and premium advertising inventory as it continues to grow its audience base.
The relaunch has been on the cards for the past year and a half, with the site being in beta testing with 5% of The Guardian's global audience. As part of the testing period the team received 27,000 pieces of feedback regarding the new site. The Guardian director of digital strategy, Wolfgang Blau, told AdNews that despite involving the audience from day one, it was still a nerve-wracking experience completely changing the layout of the news site.
“The first thing we explored was a clearer structure, we knew for the organisation and in the interest of our readers we really wanted to make the first screen they saw strong both on desktop and on mobile,” Blau said, explaining that it was a bold decision to abandon the sites traditional columnised layout.
“As to how we structured it, we have these strips or containers of content, clearly defined and edited as we go down the page.
“Technically it's a very new offering, because not only does it mean that we can change the hierarchy across the site independently without affecting most of the page, there’s great packages of content which are transferable across our global sites as well,” he said.
Not only has there been structural change, The Guardian creative director, Alex Breuer, told AdNews that off the back of the sites app update earlier in the year, there were some major design changes to all of the brands assets.
“We've brought in a tonal colour language, so we're applying different colours to different types of journalism, blue for news, we use a touch of orange to highlight opinion pieces, we use a purple colour for features, gun metal for multimedia content and red for live blogs,” Breuer said.
During the design process, managing director of The Guardian Australia, Ian McClelland told AdNews, that consumers had started to make a noticeable shift to mobile as opposed to desktop.
“We've seen this rapid adoption of mobile devices and a fragmentation of devices of all different screen sizes and operating systems and we had to cater for that change in consumer behaviour,” McClelland said.
Hyundai has signed on as the commercial launch partner for the website and will adopt all of the advertising inventory across the homepage, including the larger format banner ad, which can be moved around the highest performing content sector. The car brand will also run native content on the site, which will focus around the theme, ‘The World’s Top Game-Changers’.
When it comes to advertising, McClelland explained that this new site is stripping out all the noise and chaos and rather is focusing on beautiful and impactful advertising across all devices.
“We’re going against the grain, we see a lot of other publishers and their playing a volume game and they're jamming ads on their pages and it looks horrible, the advertisers don’t like it and I don’t think they’re very impactful,” he said.
McClelland said that there’s some “hideous” mobile advertising out there, and the team at The Guardian understands that if it gets the advertising right on mobile, it’s really powerful for the brand.
“If it’s contextual, legible, and beautiful, then that’s really powerful to be able to target someone on a particular device, at a particular day part. That’s a really powerful part of campaign planning, we’re really excited about all the formats that we’re introducing.”
For more news see below:
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at email@example.com
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org