We gave a local magazine a digital platform to serve readers with relevant and interactive content
When magazine racks in stores began shrinking, print publications turned to the internet for a new home. Having an online version of your magazine became the key to survival as readers spent more time on their screens than ever. Mum’s Mail, a handy free lifestyle magazine for families, was one of the print publications determined to thrive in the digital world.
Our client had a well-established reader base in Durban, showing off the latest trends and providing informative articles every month. Advertisers provided the funds necessary for publication. While the business grew, the digital world grew too, so Mum’s Mail approached us to create a website for their readers.
By 2017, when the project began, people already had high expectations for websites and apps.
If your website didn’t meet a person’s need quickly, took too long to load or looked confusing to navigate, the person would leave and scroll elsewhere.
We needed to make more than a digital version of Mum’s Mail; we needed to make it a digital experience people would want to return to.
The other expectation people had developed by now was a personalised experience when visiting a website. By creating a digital platform, Mum’s Mail had an opportunity to grow its audience beyond Durban and serve families across South Africa.
While the prospect of growing the reader base digitally and creating a brand new platform excited both us and the Mum’s Mail team, we needed to ensure we stayed true to the brand.
We had to make the website exciting enough for new readers to visit, but familiar enough that the print audience would still recognize the publication they love on their screens.
The content on Mum’s Mail is split into three pillars: editorial articles, competitions and a user-generated business directory.
The creation of the Mum’s Mail website made the second and third pillars of the publication so much easier to grow and manage. Our experience in building for user-generated content informed the decisions we made on what framework to use and what sort of challenges would need to be considered.
When you give your audience the ability to upload content, there are bound to be hiccups. Poor quality images and spelling mistakes can quickly turn a well-intended directory listing into a branding fail.
To combat this challenge, we created clear and concise forms for people to fill out and a CMS that would allow the Mum’s Mail team to moderate user-generated content before it appeared on the website.
The design team translated the look and feel of the print magazine into a bright and colourful website, making creative updates to ensure a great user experience.
The colours, fonts and layout chosen are familiar enough to existing Mum’s Mail readers while eye-catching enough to draw new readers in.
Those new readers arrived expecting a personalised experience and our team of developers delivered.
The content you see on the website today will depend on which big South African city you are in when you visit. Nobody wants to see a store sale in Durban when they’re about to go shopping in Cape Town!
The articles and advertising changes depending on your location, so you’re always seeing relevant content.
Visit Mum’s Mail today and you’re going to find much more than you can on printed pages. The articles are a must-share, the directory is easy to search and the competitions keep people coming back every month.
With a user-friendly, fun and fast-loading website, Mum’s Mail has been able to branch out of Durban and serve families across South Africa with relevant digital content, successfully.
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