The previous website for Channel 4 News was centred around breaking news. This was at odds with the on-air brand which is focused on in-depth, quality reporting. Consequently the website was failing to support the Channel 4 News brand and readership was suffering.
Clearleft co-located at Channel 4 offices in London to aid decision making and maximise project visibility. We also spent a significant amount of time with the news team at ITN, understanding their workflow and the nature of the newsroom.
Rapid Idea Generation
After a series of workshops involving key stakeholders from Channel 4 and ITN, our team moved into a period of rapid idea generation, sketching possible directions the service could take. These were displayed on a ‘sketch board’ within Channel 4’s offices, enabling passing feedback and engagement with our progress.
During ideation, we designed an innovative approach to footer-based navigation (dubbed ‘gravigation’) which focused the user on the content over browsing. Being a novel approach, we ran usability tests on the device – the results were good so the gravigation stayed.
Working closely with Channel 4’s creative team, we draw on the programmes unique bold on-air brand, tying the website into Channel 4’s overall news proposition. We designed a modular design system which provided a framework for all pages, and enabled future pages to put togther by the editorial team.
The new site has given the whole newsroom at ITN a real lift and helped make the integration into a totally multi-media outlet work so much better.
Our engagement lasted 6 months. The site was launched in September 2010 and readership increased by 34%. The site is now an integral part of Channel 4’s news offering and is always featured in the TV broadcast.
The web site has been extremely well received, with glowing articles appearing in the Guardian, New Media Age and others. Clearleft are now working with Channel 4 on more of their big media properties.
- Readership increased 34%
- Website integral to programme