Background The Quint, run by media entrepreneurs Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur, typifies the new internet-only news site, responding to the post-internet generation. This breed breaks the ‘institutional’ news mould. Staffed by young reporters, they feed fast updating stories on a spectrum of news (from films to politics) to their mobile reading, social media consuming, audience. Video, podcasts, live audio content complements conventional articles, as also infographics, listiles and the like.
While the stories performed well on Facebook, traffic to the site was not keeping up, especially on readers’ desktops (a key advertising metric). The editors’ asked us to redesign the site based on their hypothesis that the design tended to hide from readers the sheer breadth and variety of the articles, and the vibrancy of the Quint spirit.
Disclaimer: What follows is a report on what we presented. But due to late breaking changes in Quint’s strategy, the final website, designed by Quint’s internal resources, draws on many elements of our design but does not implement it.
Problem On investigation, we learnt that Quint’s initial momentum had led to a variety of content and news formats sprouting, eventually creating an unwieldy site. It was difficult for readers to mentally ‘model’ the site—to know what to expect from each click, and where to find the content they were most likely to enjoy. Distracting navigation is a negative, especially for impatient mobile users with small screens and attention spans.
In addition to aiding discovery, we decided that the sites visual appeal—its personality— lacked a distinctive style that would connect with this audience.
Brand Personality is built on the insight that young readers don’t want to be addressed in a stiff, formal way—but this doesn’t require news to be be frivolous. Our conception of the Quint brand destroys the apparent contradiction between lively and energetic vs serious and formal.
Simplified By drastically reducing the number content categories to five, made discovery much easier. Quint’s specials were placed under the newly minted ‘Quintessentials’. Improving access makes it much more likely that reader find—and thus, appreciate—Quint’s full content bouquet.
Video forward Quint believes video stories to be the future of news presentation. An extra large video carousel on the homepage plays to Quint’s strong suit—well produced, popular, video stories. A user can get the news almost entirely on video, so we gave it its own landing page, almost a site by itself. This highlighting of video opens sponsoring opportunities. and it was popular format with its audience too.
App like Mobile view Icons point to content categories. Interview stories emulate chat interfaces. Urgent social sharing impulses are satisfied through logical placement of sharing options.
Engagement with content Content forms were re-evaluated in light of user behaviour. Trending stories were given added hooks— Quint’s take—to encourage exploration. Articles were given a variety of visual breaks, making for glanceable reading for the busy reader. New forms were created as well. ‘View-counterview’ was redesigned to present two sides of a story though a quick flip, and the new ‘decoded’ explained long running stories in a circular, snippety form. All devices satisfy quick reading impulses, and cue playfulness, in true Quint spirit.
Visual style An extensive, saturated colour palette, used in gradients gives the brand youthfulness and excitement, and connects it with its audience’s visual world. Colour isn’t just for expressiveness; it aids in category recognition. No page is left unturned: even mandatory pages join in the high energy mood. Finally, clean, bold clutter breaking typography balances the vibrancy of the colours, improving legibility, especially for mobile.
Credits Team Lead: Lisa Rath, Project Lead & Senior Designer: Avi Agarwal, Designer: Sreeja Chatterjee, Development Lead: Vikrant Gupta and the Quint development team