• Main

    New i-D website

Graphic Design

Web Design: We chat to the brains behind the new-look i-D website

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Ever since it was announced late last year that VICE was buying iconic title i-D, many in and around the media have been keen to see what changes this coming together might engender. And last Friday we got a glimpse of the brave new world when the new i-D website went live (along with an exclusive video from M.I.A.). We caught up with VICE’s executive creative director Joel Kitzmiller to find out more about the new-look site…

What were the starting points for the redesign? What from the old site was important to keep?

Our first steps were to take a look at the landscape; analysing what i-D could add to online fashion. i-D has a longstanding history and there was a lot to think about in regards to what fashion-conscious people wanted to consume online and how they wanted to consume it. The editorial team at i-D were completely integrated in this process; feeding back every step of the way to develop a content strategy with which we were all happy. 

We had to take a step back from the old site and get involved in some of the analytics to figure out what was successful. We got granular with this process and picked apart the content success – looking at everything from pageviews to bounce rates and site paths to figure out what we needed to save and what needed to be abstracted into something bigger.

  • Home_crop

    New i-D website

What other sites were points of reference for the new design?

At VICE, we can see daily how fast mobile traffic is growing, so we knew that the new site needed to take that into account. The UX needed to consider how people interact with and consume the content the i-D team was going to produce. The site needed to be adaptable. 

From a design perspective, the digital team at VICE get really excited about solutions to UI problems we encounter online. We all love discussing sites that have found solutions to ongoing issues we find online; stuff like sticky menus and contextual search results. We never wanted to rethink anything that had a solution, but rather adapt it where we could. 

Inspiration-wise, we mostly looked to sites that we visited daily—asking ourselves why we visited them. Sites like Amazon and eBay—they know what we want and they allow us to tailor our own experience. We thought that was a really strong place to start.

How much pressure is there working on a new site for such a well-established brand?

Lots, but the i-D team is fantastic and super positive. VICE has a large knowledge base to draw from in digital and we knew we could help build i-D’s online video presence. However, the team at i-D know their market and their landscape. They are like a family and have been working with us every step of the way—so as long as they were happy, we were happy.

What would you say are the key features of the new look site?

Specifically, the key features are going to be user-centric design and video. 

Video views across our other platforms are growing so quickly that we instinctively knew that video was the area we could help i-D grow. That said, probably the most critical part of the UX that we rethought was the user journey. We did some workshops with the i-D team, defining users and their journeys, making sure we were developing the type of content strategy that made sense to the team. 

Personally, I am a firm believer that, soon, our user base is going to become too busy to babysit any website. There is just too much amazing content to consume online already and that is just going to grow. For i-D, I wanted to make sure we focused on building a site where the user could customise their experience and become a part of it. The content had to be intelligent enough to find them. At the end of the day it’s about them, not us.

“i-D has a longstanding history and there was a lot to think about in regards to what fashion-conscious people wanted to consume online and how they wanted to consume it.”

Joel Kitzmiller

What were the biggest challenges you came up against?

Building a future-proof CMS. The backend often gets overlooked in scenarios like these, but in the case of i-D, the site needed to be scaleable and adaptable enough to be ported to any future platform we needed it to be on. It was very important to get off on the right path here. We had an amazing backend team of developers and consultants that did a great job at this.

How pleased are you with the final result?

Really happy. It was a long, long process and the team all worked tirelessly to make something of which we are all extremely proud. There are loads of bugs, and even more new features that we have lined up, but we are really excited about making them happen and are moving quickly to do so.

  • Watch

    New i-D website

  • Watch1

    New i-D website

  • Think-pieces

    New i-D website

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    When it comes to a trendy commission, a restaurant in east London that serves everything on the bone is right up there. Credit is due then to Burgess Studio, whose identity for the eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously. Built around a nice typographic wordmark and the simple idea of making the all-important bone into a smile, the look and feel rolls out seamlessly across everything from bags to cups, menus to the website. It’s simple, it’s striking and it steers well clear of some kind of terrible hipster overload, all of which is to be very much commended.

  2. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Stockholm-based Bedow studio but there’s a host of new work to enjoy over on their site as ever. I was particularly drawn to their ongoing collaboration with Essem Design, “a Swedish manufacturer of artisanal hallway interiors.” Bedow used a refreshingly straightforward way in to what might seem like rather a niche product, building an identity around the Swedish words for “hello” and “goodbye” – the utterances most commonly heard in a hallway.

  3. List

    Producing graphic collateral for one of the world’s largest international contemporary art fairs is a brief that would have some graphic design studios quaking in their boots, but when London-based Studio Frith was approached by Frieze Art Fair they accepted with relish.

  4. List

    “Churn out” always sounds like a derisive expression when referring to exceptional creative work, but the prolific nature of some studios means it’s the only one I like to use use to conjure up the relentless mechanical precision with which these studios proceed – and I definitely don’t mean it derisively. And so to Praline, the products of whose churning we’re here to admire.

  5. List

    For graphic design types, the opportunity to run wild with a printer’s various techniques is pretty much the dream brief, and Mexican agency Anagrama have well and truly lived that dream. They were one of seven agencies studios invited to create a notebook with Imprimerie du Marais, and they were given free rein to experiment with effects like hot foil stamping, microembossing, silk screening and sewn binding.

  6. List

    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting hop a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.

  7. List

    When you’re set a challenge by Google’s UXA design team, there’s the expectation for something pretty darn special to be created. Fortunately for Manual, they nailed their brief and created a smart, clean, eye-catching interpretation of Google’s visual language.

  8. List

    It’s a widely-acknowledged fact that Tony Brook and his Spin team can do no wrong – they just design cracking stuff. So imagine our surprise when… no, just kidding, their latest project’s a belter too. Commissioned by Sim Smith, a London-based gallery representing emerging British talent, Tony and his team went about producing a slick, simple, monochrome identity that’s as unfussy as the artists the gallery represents. The logo, website and print collateral are all pleasantly understated, meaning the Sim Smith name won’t ever get in the way of the most important thing – the artists’ work.

  9. List

    Some design cultures outside the UK are very familiar to us, others less so, and it’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into how others are interpreting the visual world, which is why I was immediately drawn to the Prague-based Anymade Studio.

  10. List

    Few figures have impacted on the UK design scene quite like Neville Brody, and this week he announced the launch of Brody Associates, “a boutique studio network” that will specialise in digital, identity design and typography.

  11. List

    Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what our banknotes and coins would look like without Queen Liz’s face slapped all over them. As it looks like that won’t change anytime soon, I instead look to other countries for monetary inspiration.

  12. List

    When a studio with a back catalogue as impressive as Hey’s relaunch their website it’s tricky to know where to start in terms of choosing what aspect of it to cover. Is it the crisp design of their now fully-responsive site, the beautifully conceived identity for a Miami-based jam company that represents the product’s moreishness through the medium of randomly-generated die-cut patterns, or the 500 unique invitations they produced for ArtFad 2014, a contemporary Art and Craft Award? In this instance all of them because, as ever, all of Hey’s work is much too good not to show off.

  13. List

    When it comes to graphic design, there can be many reasons why certain jobs feel particularly pressurised; it may be the tightness of the deadlines, the ambition of the stated objective or the nature of the client. This latter comes in many forms but heritage can weigh very heavily, and when well-respected Berlin-based studio Double Standards were commissioned to overhaul the look of feel of Bauwlet, an architectural magazine that’s been around for 105 years, they appreciated the challenges they faced.