Vox Homepage Refresh

Type — Scalable Platform & Editorial Design
Role — Design Director
Company — Vox Media
Completed — April 2017

As part of our platform refactor project, Unison, we migrated each of our brand's homepages onto our new Homepage Product. This was the first redesign of Vox’s homepage since 2014, and it was a chance for our team to work with Vox to create a homepage that better reflected their editorial strategy today.


The "Newspaper" Layout

In our kickoff meeting in January, the Vox team told us they needed a homepage that felt credible, smart and represented the depth and breadth of their coverage. Additionally, Vox had grown, both in terms of audience and coverage areas, since their last homepage refresh. Their homepage needed to reflect their new editorial strategy.

To us, that meant creating something that was more serious and functional, but still retained Vox’s distinct branding. We explored several layouts that focused on functional density before settling on this newspaper layout.


Why did we go with a newspaper layout?

First, it’s an established pattern that’s recognizable and credible within the news industry. Second, this structure allows us to display more content and increase density without sacrificing elegance. Lastly, the top eight stories in the hero provide an at-a-glance view of the most important stories of the moment, without the user needing to dig for it. We’re also displaying additional context around top stories, which gives audiences a greater understanding and gives Vox more opportunities to editorialize their front page.


Increased Density & Better Wayfinding

A primary goal of this redesign was making it easier for users to get around. In contrast with Vox’s previous homepage which had many modules and sections, this homepage has two key areas: Top Stories and The Latest. Top Stories contains the most important stories of the moment, while The Latest is a reverse chronological feed. This structure is consistent across all of our new homepages, since our homepage audience typically consists of return visitors who are looking for fresh content since their last visit

In practice, it means we’re calling attention to Vox’s most important work, while also increasing the density of new stories and providing clear content signals. The increased density is especially apparent on small screens.


Many people worked on this project to make it a success, including Chris Haines, John Fuller, Sanette Tanaka, Ally Palanzi, Greg MacWilliam, David Zhou, Ben Alt, Jesse Young, Jason Ormand, and Krissy Kingwood from the Unison team; Jon Douglas and Nancy Seay from the Quality Assurance team; as well as Agnes Mazur, Susannah Locke, Andrew Golis, Melissa Bell, Ezra Klein, Allison Rockey, Lauren Williams, Joe Posner and the entire Vox editorial team.