Today, as you might have already spotted, we’re launching a new and improved It’s Nice That website. We’ve been working away on this refresh behind the scenes for several months now and we’re incredibly excited to be able to finally unveil it to you, our readers. You’ll no doubt draw your own conclusions (and of course you should), but if you’re interested in learning more, here’s the story behind the redesign, our reasons for doing it, and what it means for you.
Inevitably, the things you might spot first are the optics – from the new typefaces and the flashes of colour we’ve deployed across the site to the new ways we’re now treating imagery and celebrating video content. But arguably even more has changed under the bonnet (that’s the “hood” for you Americans). The technology that underpins the site has been completely upgraded and this, above all else, will transform your experience of It’s Nice That from today onwards.
The main innovation here is that we now have a far speedier, more powerful and more granular search and tagging system, unlocking our archive of over 25,000 articles showcasing inspiring creative work. Like many of you, we felt that our archive was previously too inaccessible and difficult to sift through. So, we’ve gone back through every one of our articles, dating way back to 2007, and added a series of tags to each one that really accurately describes what that specific story is about. This will allow you to more easily find exactly what you’re searching for.
These tags cover everything from broad disciplines (“Graphic Design” and “Photography”, for example) to the more specific medium of the work (such as “Poster”, “VR” or “Magazine”) to the wider themes it deals with (“Sport”, say, “Technology” or “Sustainability”). Each of these tags now also has its own dedicated page, so you can just go straight to the stuff you love. What all this means is that fascinating stories, inspiration and unique creative work are easier to find on It’s Nice That than ever before.
“We’ve only redesigned a handful of times, and this for me is the most exciting, because it’s the first time we’ve done so with such a huge archive,” says Alex Bec, managing director of It’s Nice That’s parent company, the HudsonBec Group. “The new site is going to unlock a wealth of content that hasn’t seen the light of day for a long time and will help us champion even more creatives week in and week out.”
Another reason for the redesign is that the digital publishing world and its readers continue to evolve. One recent trend we've been very pleased about is the move towards higher-quality online content. Readers today want and expect depth, context as well as great writing, and this is something we’ve long been in the business of delivering. “We’ve always maintained we want to grow an audience that values and trusts what we do, and to try to avoid this past decade’s trends of click-bait and unnecessary listicles,” says Will Hudson, who founded It’s Nice That back in 2007 and is now director of the HudsonBec Group. The new website doubles down on that belief in quality, celebrating long-form writing with our new-look Features and bringing our editorial to the fore.
“We wanted the experience to feel more curated and editorial,” says Simon Piehl, founder of Bureau for Visual Affairs, our digital partners, who designed and built the new site. “We wanted there to be greater focus on the imagery, taking the site further away from the shallow content aggregation now available through platforms like Instagram and focusing on making the content and editorial shine.” If you want to hear more from Simon and understand more about the new site from a design perspective, check out this article, where we speak to him in more depth about the process.
Fundamentally, that’s the most important thing. While the site might look different today, some things haven’t changed. In his very first post as a student 12 years ago, Will wrote that It’s Nice That would “aim to collect and share a diverse range of emerging creative work that’s new to you, and hopefully us too”. Our mission today is much the same – we exist to champion creativity in all its forms and bring it to the broadest possible audience. Which is why today we’re publishing a range of articles that run the gamut of creative expression – from a story about a hotel populated exclusively by Afghan hounds to an in-depth interview with Matt Pyke of Universal Everything, via some great graphic design and illustration.
So, what’s most exciting for us about the new It’s Nice That is that it will be an open and accessible platform for even more amazing creatives to show their work in the future. “We’ve seen a lot change in the past ten years but, in reality, there has always been one constant – unearthing interesting stories that champion creativity to our readers,” says Will. “We want to be doing what we’re doing for another ten years and we’ll continue to learn and be open to learning as to how we best do that. We’re lucky there are so many amazing creatives doing great work that the wider community is interested in. I’m as excited for the next iteration of the website as I was when we launched the first version back in 2007.”
We’ve got a few more exciting announcements coming up in the next few months, including the launch of our first-ever It’s Nice That membership. If you’d like to hear more about that and what it will contain, please sign up for our newsletter below. In the meantime, though, all that remains is for us to thank you, our readers in the creative community, for your continued support. If you do have any comments or suggestions, we are as ever open to hearing them. Please do drop our editor, Matt Alagiah, an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, we hope you’ll enjoy exploring the new site!