Knitting Industry is one member of a family of digital news websites from Inside Textiles catering to textiles industry professionals, and covering the latest breaking innovations in technology, materials, processes and business.
Prior to my involvement, the Knitting Industry website had been live for five years. In those five years the site had undergone three major redesigns (by different agencies) and reader numbers were consistently falling.
– UX, UI & visual design
– Brand identity design
– Project management
I was approached by Inside Textiles to redesign Knitting Industry to be fully responsive and address the decline in visitors. The site needed to be lightweight and quick, and offer an easy reading experience on all devices.
As the site was ad revenue based it was littered with animated banners of inconsistent quality, and whilst the ads slowed ldaing times, interfered with content and pulled focus from the news, they had to stay!
Upon investigation there were no standards in place for banner ads. They could be pretty much any format and any file and size so long as they were right dimensions. I created a set of guidelines outlining strict parameters governing format, file size, loading time and hosting options. These guidelines had an immediate impact on page loading times, cutting the average in half from 8 to 4 seconds.
As the site had over 3,000 readers monthly, the redesign had to retain a high level of familiarity. Using a modified colour palette ensured that the site felt familiar but also felt fresh. Subtle changes in colour increased warmth and increasing the amount of white space hugely increased readability.
Navigation was re-ordered and simplified, secondary and contextual in-page navigation was created to allow quicker access to related content across the site, and the content itself was completely re-worked to increase focus, readability and pacing.
Above all else, the site had to work equally well on mobiles and tablets, and so the visual design began there by stripping all the ads on mobile and allowing only the leaderboard and folio ads on tablet devices. This greatly sped up the site and created a focused reading experience. The clean look and feel established for devices informed the desktop view resulting in a well organised and easily readable experience no matter which device the site was accessed on.
The logo was refreshed to look more modern and in-line with the new site, and the project was re-launched.
An exceptionally clean news site for the sector, offering readers easily accessed real-time content and a deep news archive. Knitting Industry today boasts 23,000 global readers monthly, 8,000+ subscribers (and growing), and hosts 250,000+ visitors a year.