InStyle believes in the power of style, and covers it like no one else.
When Code and Theory was tasked to build a new responsive InStyle.com, our challenge was to figure out the best way to showcase their up-to-the-minute content, as well as 20 years worth of fashion, beauty and celebrity coverage.
It had to be an elegant, flexible platform that would introduce readers to InStyle’s breadth of content and path them deeper into the variety of related topics at the right moment.
What’s Right Now is the beat and pulse of InStyle.com. It’s an up-to-the-minute stream of everything going on in the InStyle reader’s world, from fashion trends to celeb must-reads.
In the same vein, Look of the Day features the editorial team’s daily picks for the hottest celeb looks and trends, and is one of the site’s top-performing sections.
To maximize the value of both sections, we worked closely with the InStyle team to essentially turn these two columns into “productized” content experiences.
By thinking of these content sections as “products,” it opened up a whole new world of possibilities to deliver even more value to the InStyle reader. At its core, the content productization approach does two things:
It gives the user digestible, branded content features that they can come back to ritualistically, which will deliver the same type of content every time; It allows InStyle editors to see what posts are getting engagement, and then re-use and recirculate those pieces of content where most applicable. So, for instance, a handful of popular Look of the Day photos from April could easily be re-surfaced and bundled into a larger “ Spring Trends” editorial content feature.
We also delivered a richer, more contextual reading and discovery experience.
After all, the value of InStyle’s editorial and multimedia content isn’t only about the speed and immediacy of when it is published – the real value comes from the aggregation of content over time.
Our new UX approach allows InStyle readers a much simpler archival content browsing experience – whether they’re researching recent DVF gowns spotted on the red carpet, or every Reese Witherspoon Look of the Day outfit since 2000.
InStyle readers are a very visual audience. In building the new responsive experience, we made sure to take cues from the print edition, opting for larger presentations of photography.
In fact, every single new feature brings the focal point back on the photos, which is often the most important part of any InStyle reader’s journey. Photo galleries are bolder, cleaner and easier to navigate. And contextual advertising placements complement the design, rather than distract.
We made sure that the refreshed InStyle.com offered a consistent user experience across mobile, tablet and desktop.
We felt that readers should have just as rich an experience while on their phone in the salon, as they would on their laptop at home.
In the age of social media and RSS readers, we know that users rarely type a publication’s URL to their browser anymore. It’s why we treat article pages as the new homepage.
So, regardless of how a reader came to InStyle.com — whether it was through a link on Twitter, or a pin on Pinterest — we made sure readers were rewarded at every entry point. It’s why every part of the new design offers readers a clear, consistent path to discover new content throughout the site. There are no dead ends.