Ben Ladkin, Arsenal Media Group's operations manager, recently gave a talk about the Arsenal.com redesign, which Ostmodern did the UX and design for...
Following the success of Arsenal Player, the Premier League club invited us to redesign Arsenal.com. Arsenal wanted to make its website bolder and more engaging but also easier to use. Building on our existing relationship with the in-house editorial team, we set about understanding how and when they produce content and did research to study how Arsenal fans used the website.
Over the course of 9 months, we collaborated closely with Arsenal through the design, implementation and build phases. We devised a new website editorial strategy and tested our design concepts and prototypes with users. Arsenal's new website, which launched in February 2013, is a contemporary, easy to use website, characterised by engaging, high quality and stylishly presented content.
The new Arsenal website is a seamless extension of Arsenal's offline branding, with stylistically light, crisp and clear typography and graphics. We spent time at the Emirates Stadium and the site's look and feel was inspired by Arsenal's distinctive modernist typeface, the great match-day photography we uncovered and even the architecture of the stadium itself. All of this material inspired the essential foundation on which we constructed the brand's behaviour and feel online.
Arsenal has a huge international following and is a global brand and therefore our online presence needs to facilitate and nurture the Arsenal global online community, be the top reference site for news and facts and be a source of Arsenal exclusives. As an online experience our new website surpasses all these objectives and more.
Ben Ladkin, Operations Manager - Arsenal
With our expertise in design and information architecture, Ostmodern was well-placed to handle the Arsenal redesign but a website this large can challenge even the strongest of navigation concepts. We analysed the most common destinations and content associations and used that to streamline and re-think the architecture. The navigation now more closely matches what users want and crucial functionality, such as ticket availability is now easier to find.
To further rationalise content on the website we gave Arsenal an editorial tool to create content 'clusters' - packaging together features, video, galleries, stats and other related content so that it was simple for fans to find. Arsenal's editorial team can also now embed any number of multimedia modules into an article, using just one template. This gives enormous flexibility while also being cheaper and easier to maintain.
The new Arsenal website has won a string of awards for its design and usability, helping to further Arsenal's image as a leading sports brand. In addition, Arsenal saw traffic increase hugely, particularly from mobile devices. That was particularly satisfying because user research told us that Arsenal fans wanted to access the website from their smartphones so we designed it from the outset to be responsive and optimised for mobile.
The Final Score
Arsenal produces a lot of multimedia content. By allowing the editorial team to embed any number of modules into articles - such as image galleries, videos, quotes and tables - we were able to consolidate all of these content types into just one page template. Not only is this cheaper and easier to maintain, it also gives Arsenal tremendous flexibility to create richer, more engaging articles and adds an overall sense of tangibility to the online experience.