ITV News redesign shows promising growth in first year

It has been a year since ITV relaunched their news website, in a striking new “stream” format. At the time I was incredibly jealous, as they seem to have found a way to throw out a lot of the legacy design baggage that many news sites carry.

ITV News website

The ITV news website today

The press release lauding the achievement has a couple of key stats. Audience growth, admittedly from a very low base, has been huge. They got 3.9m unique users in January 2013, compared to the hundreds of thousands that they had attracted with the previous design. The growth of mobile and tablet usage is also sharply illustrated. Year-on-year the percentage of people accessing the site away from the desktop has grown from 30% to 48%.

In a piece for journalism.co.uk, Rachel McAthy quotes Editor (Web) for ITV News Jason Mills as saying:

“I think we got it right. I think we’ve made it very very simple to use, we’ve made it platform-agnostic so people can get it anywhere and a lot of our traffic is mobile now. And I think we’ve offered something different to what the other major providers are offering”

There’s no doubting that the site emphasises simplicity. I often use screenshots of it in my workshops, when talking about how responsive IA can work across different screen-sizes.

ITV News mobile homepage

ITV News on mobile at the time of launch last year

At the time of launch, I put a link to the site on my phone’s homepage, and said the acid test would be how long it stayed there. I have to confess it isn’t there anymore. In fact my main route into ITV content is on the similarly designed football site, which I think is a great example of being editorially responsive to micro-news. They’ll often post very simple updates asking whether a red card was justified, or posting quick video clips of action from games the channel is showing.

Made By Many were the agency behind the design and the approach, and they’ve also recently tackled the main ITV homepage, and blogged about the design process behind it.

Last year they invited a few people to see behind the scenes at the ITV News redesign, and I was lucky enough to go. I blogged about it here.

Get blog posts like this via my email. Sign up here.