Crikey is one of Australia’s leading online news publications. While it has been a leader in the new wave of digital journalism, Crikey needed to continue to adapt to a world where the very best content is only ever a click away.
Crikey approached Thick to redesign their online experience in a way that elevated their great journalism and met the changing needs of their customers, who were demanding their content in a mobile-friendly, highly legible format.
It was integral that the redesign focus on readability, to allow users to engage with Crikey’s content seamlessly. We paid particular attention to typography – all type was optimised for screen and set at 16 point or above to guarantee readability.
We also developed a font-loading strategy (where a system font appears almost immediately, and is then seamlessly replaced with a custom font) so that users can begin reading content immediately.
The news is never the same two days in a row, so the site needed to accommodate constantly changing content needs. For this reason we created a highly modular design system that allows editors to rearrange content based on daily editorial decisions.
People read news in different contexts on different kinds of devices, so it was crucial that we design a solution that presented a highly consistent and useable experience in any context. We used a mobile first methodology to ensure that the mobile experience is now equivalent to the desktop experience in terms of readability and usability.
Our developers created a front-end pattern library, providing Crikey’s inhouse developers with the elements they needed to build the finished site. Our team was on hand throughout the integration process to offer support and make recommendations.
Optimising load times was a priority during development. Using a tool called Calibre we were able to set load time targets and ensure these targets were met. Previously, the Crikey homepage took around fifteen seconds to fully load – the new site is visible in one second and loads completely in five.
Our performance optimisation strategy ensured that the most relevant content is delivered to users immediately, with third party advertisements loading in the background after content is delivered.
The new Crikey website launched in April 2016. It was well received by their existing audience, with great feedback shared both personally and on social media. They are now set up to continue to grow the publication into the future.
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