Atlanta News, Now
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a long history in Atlanta as being the trusted source for local news and happenings. In 2014 IfThen worked closely with AJC and the Cox newspapers teams to create an engaging UI for AJC.com that gives Atlantans a sense of place and excitement, providing a new way to connect Atlanta to what’s happening now. IfThen has provided a range of services to the AJC and Cox teams including strategy, digital design, development, analytics, and media services, and continues a strong partnership with them today.
Part of the mission of the new AJC.com was to reinvent the AJC’s free site brand to be clearly differentiated from its paid products, with a goal to gain new audiences who are not as engaged in traditional “news.” To do this IfThen created a more visual and bold experience that focused the free site on “owning the moment,” while also creating more attractive ad inventory for their advertisers. A core component of the strategy were story pages — which for many users are the first point of entry within the site — ensuring the experience was compelling and provided plenty of avenues to additional content.
The new design strategy for the site focuses on bold visuals, with sharing and social as core functions of the site. This look and social emphasis carries over to the mobile web site where users can keep up with what is going on in a way that feels seamless with the desktop experience, while providing key information in a visual and scannable way.
As part of the strategy to own the moment, IfThen created a series of templates to provide a compelling experience to readers in areas they are passionate about such as food, sports teams, neighborhoods, and iconic Atlanta destinations. These templates offer advertisers specific verticals for their content, such as the Atlanta Beltline being paired with a cornerstone retailer.
IfThen designed a layout that adapts to the device, including a 1024 breakpoint and smartphone UI providing Atlantans with AJC.com’ content whenever and however they want it. In addition, IfThen helped Cox Newspapers roll out the same templated design across three other markets – Austin Statesman, West Palm Beach Post, and Dayton.com.
Cox Newspapers was motivated to bring the new sites to market as quickly as possible. IfThen was able to help accelerate its development schedule by leveraging our deep technical expertise in building digital products for some of the largest media companies including CNN, National Geographic, NBC Sports, Turner, and the NBA.