Blog Post 6: Countryliving.com On A Mobile Device

When I was interning at Countryliving.com last summer, Hearst Digital Media had just started the rollout of new websites for each of their publications. Cosmopolitan.com was the first to be switched over to a new site with better functionality and user experience. The rest of the Hearst publications received website redesigns soon after, including Countryliving.com.

Hearst Digital Media “established a set of core values necessary for the new publishing platform with enhanced user experience as the overarching goal. The velocity of the sites, from editors’ ability to publish quickly and easily to users’ speed of consumption, was paramount. Simplicity was also important—the new platform pares down options and offers fewer, yet more effective publishing format choices,” according to an article about the website relaunches.

Included in the website redesign was a redesign for the look of the sites on a mobile device. Countryliving.com’s mobile platform used to be their basic website you would see on a desktop with very little functionality. Now, the website takes up the entire screen of the mobile device, and you can easy scroll down for more content, instead of having to zoom in to click on links to take you to content.

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This is the “homepage” of the mobile version, which is similar to the desktop version in that both feature a grid format with large photos (and the homepage story is the same).

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To navigate the mobile version, you click up at the top and a hover menu bar comes from the left side featuring several topics of other pages that you can navigate to for specific content.

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As you scroll down on your phone, a large photo, a headline and a small deck appear for each story. The content is even divided into sections via that yellow bar you see entitled “Gardening Ideas,” so that you know what type of content you are entering as you scroll.

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As you get to the end of the mobile page, you see the “masthead” of the website that you would normally see stretched across the entire desktop page.

The mobile version of Countryliving.com now works great compared to their antiquated version they used to have. Now content is larger, easier to navigate to and the typefaces and colors have even been updated for a cleaner, more stream-lined look.

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One thought on “Blog Post 6: Countryliving.com On A Mobile Device

  1. Hi Madison,

    I agree that this is a very clean, user-friendly mobile site. The typeface hierarchy is excellent (which I’m sure is carried over from print/web versions), and I like the “grid” layout. I think the ads are actually unobtrusive. They put a nice warning above them (“Advertisement – Continue Reading Below”), and that lets me know to keep scrolling rather than accidentally clicking on an ad.

    Two things I wish were improved: 1) I wish the menu bar was accessible as I continue to scroll down. It’s time consuming to have to scroll back up to find it. Perhaps by putting an opaque version of the “hamburger menu” icon, it would be accessible but distract from content. 2) The menu is busy. I wish the category titles were simpler and everything was accessible from the main menu instead of having the sub-nav pop out. I’m sure this is hard, since there is probably already specific tags for the different web content that get pushed to the mobile version.

    Overall, I really enjoyed looking through this site! It’s very intuitive and an enjoyable reading experience.

    Kerri

    Like

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