If you don’t listen to This American Life then I’m not sure we can be friends. The weekly look at US culture and society goes out to a radio audience of 1.8 million people with around 750,000 people downloading the podcast and it’s not hard to see why. Whether it’s a look at the so-called psychopath test and how it affects people’s lives, the moving tale of the boy stolen by soldiers after a massacre or a very loosely-themed hour of live storytelling TAL (as all the cool kids are calling it) is fresh, intelligent and compelling.
With such a slew of top content, it’s important that fans are able to access the incredible archive as easily as possible, and that’s where Pentagram’s Emily Oberman comes in. She worked with colleague Naz Sahin to refresh the TAL website with improved functionality and an aesthetic tone that matched the show’s smart-but-accessible approach.
Working closely with Ira Glass, the Pentagram team focussed on improving the search options so that it is now possible to find episodes based on name, date, subject or contributor criteria. A new interactive map also gives users a geographical option to search for stories in areas they are particularly interested in while the addition of a cerulean blue adds a new colour layer to the site.
This is web design at its best, combining technical and visual prowess in a way that is all geared towards the best possible user experience.
So if you aren’t inducted into the wonders of TAL this is the perfect time to go to the new site, immerse yourself for a few days and then come back to me so we can be friends. Ok?