Essentielle.be is one of the main online magazines for women in French-speaking Belgium. It is run by a team of journalists and web editors based in Brussels and using WordPress as their CMS.
This new design responds to the following objectives :
- realign Essentielle’s identity as the go-to site for 25-44 years old french-speaking women with a lifestyle,
- provide a richer visual experience, based on larger photos and typography,
- improve the overal experience by clarifying the hierarchy of information and have the interface adapt to the browser’s screen estate (responsive web design),
- improve page loading speed,
- improve visitors’ engagement,
- finetune and simplify the content management system.
The job had to be done in an extremely short period. Fortunately, i could base my analysis and understanding of their needs on my experience of maintaining the customer’s system for the past 18 months. I also dwelved a lot in their Google Analytics data to realize that the mobile (including tablets) audience was increasing at a fast rate: from 8% to 17% in the last 11 months! Yet, the retention rate for mobile user was very poor, as the interface did not optimize the experience at all, neither visually nor performance-wise. It was simply unusable on a mobile, and very awkward on a tablet.
We also collected users’ complaints, and a recurring one was the lack of clarity and difficult access to past articles. We worked on clarifying the information hierarchy and provide a consistent experience in the spatial organization and behaviors of the interface.
The new Essentielle.be website performs much better and i’ll be working on furthering its optimization as page load speed, even though it has improved by an average of 75%, is never too small.