News platform and brand identity for a media startup.
As a freelance design director at Confederation Studio I oversaw the design team tasked with creating a news platform and brand identity for UnHerd, a media startup founded to challenge popular opinion on both sides of the political spectrum.
Going against the herd
To articulate UnHerd’s rebellious approach to news, we wanted to subvert the iconography associated with Fleet Street. With the help of political illustrator Ben Jennings, we crafted a brand identity around a rearing cow — a suitably irreverent icon for a media group unafraid to go against the herd.
How do people consume news?
When designing UnHerd’s news platform we undertook research to understand how people consumed their news. Our research identified three key personas with very specific browsing habits.
Behaviours vs. site mapping
UnHerd’s site map was designed around the browsing habits of our key personas. A detailed homepage was essential for those browsing during their commute, and for those with more focused interests we designed several ways to catalogue UnHerd’s archive. We also explored how UnHerd’s articles could be re-packaged for those who preferred to consume their news passively via podcasts and personality driven columns and social channels.
Having understood what content was required and how best to organise it, we launched a bare-bones prototype of the website. This research phase went through several sprints with the client and our testing group to gauge the effectiveness of our persona-driven design.
User interface palette
In conjunction with the design of the website’s user experience, we expanded UnHerd’s brand identity to include a comprehensive user interface library.
Progressing from a beta launch to an alpha launch, UnHerd’s news platform satisfied all our key personas. The website boasted a content heavy homepage for commuters grazing daily, and numerous horizontally navigated deep dives — collections of articles around particular subjects or editorial direction. Several interrupt modules were also created to break-up the reading experience, steering users to other content they may be interested in.