Federal News Radio

Delivering award-winning news through a targeted user experience.
F

ederal News Radio is a large scale publication website covering non-partisan federal agency news. Originally a radio news station owned by Hubbard Radio, FederalNewsRadio.com became the first internet-only, all-news radio station in 2000. WDG redesigned the original site three years before, and with continued communication was able to serve as their digital advisor by partnering with the award-winning news organization to increase user engagement through a targeted user experience.

Project Mission

In order to increase user retention rates and traffic to their website, Federal News Radio sought an informed design that leveraged a data-driven decision process for the design revision. The new design needed to increase the amount of content that was visible “above the fold,” thereby improving overall user engagement and fundamentally improving navigation architecture.

What We Did

WDG’s team created a carefully constructed redesign of Federal News Radio with restructured navigation, a streamlined menu structure, clean design, and increased revenue capabilities from targeted advertising opportunities.

Leveraging the Flexible Power of WordPress

WordPress was the chosen content management system (CMS) for Federal News Radio’s original redesign due to its flexibility, plugin capabilities, and opportunities for integrations to facilitate large scale publishing cadences. The flexibility of the backend allows for easy administration, while the intuitive design ensures faster publishing experiences with the user journey in mind. It is also the most used platform on the internet, bolstered by a massive open source development community and regular updates with backwards compatibility to ensure the continued security and integrity of the website. For these and many other reasons, there has been a massive growth in the adoption of WordPress as the CMS of choice in the publishing space. With major media organizations like The New York Times and Time, Inc. choosing WordPress, WDG’s recommendation was to continue the use of the highly flexible, scalable CMS to meet Federal News Radio’s growth needs.

Experimenting with the User Experience

For the purposes of the redesign, Federal News Radio sought to leverage data-driven decision making before executing a final design. WDG’s team helped implement a unique configuration of A/B testing to facilitate the redesign process before a full scale redesign was implemented. Using a Google Analytics Experiment, our WordPress development team built a fully redesigned second home page with alternative features to test usability. Experiments is a feature of Google Analytics that enables website administrators to test changes to a page or site in order to measure its impact on a specific goal, such as higher conversion rates. To configure the experiment, Federal News Radio’s administrators could login at any point during the experiment to explore the user experience through the Google Analytics dashboard.

A Data-Driven Redesign

For the purposes of the redesign, Federal News Radio sought to leverage data-driven decision making before executing a final design. WDG’s team helped implement a unique configuration of A/B testing to facilitate the redesign process before a full scale redesign was implemented. Using a Google Analytics Experiment, our WordPress development team built a fully redesigned second home page with alternative features to test usability. Experiments is a feature of Google Analytics that enables website administrators to test changes to a page or site in order to measure its impact on a specific goal, such as higher conversion rates. To configure the experiment, Federal News Radio’s administrators could login at any point during the experiment to explore the user experience through the Google Analytics dashboard.

A Carefully Constructed Design

The redesign was significantly different than the existing design. To create space, our design team eliminated superfluous visuals and decluttered the highly decorated header that contained a heavy navigation. The original page had both a utility and primary navigation. To streamline the UX, we provided a primary navigation while collapsing superfluous information into a hamburger menu in order to ensure maximum content and ad space. Links were altered to be more intuitive and user friendly, and the formatting changed the way users access key pieces of information. The addition of multimedia content on the homepage was also a key addition, with an integrated video section. Unique to Federal News Radio’s publication needs, we also added separate “Reporters” and “Columnists” sections, each of which featured three different authors at the same time for content variety. The “Reporters” section allows users to see important breaking news updates whereas the “Columnists” section is differentiated as more extensive thought pieces for user engagement.

Maximizing Advertisements with Double Click for Publishers

For the original redesign, our development team leveraged DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) as a powerful ad management tool. The third-party integration allows publishing sites to manage flexible advertising capabilities. Using DFP, we created specific ad slots with various options for ad scheduling, duration, page placement, and targeting specific users based on viewer profiles. For example, advertisers could place ads on the home page, interior pages, or employ the “take over” feature to upsell products in every slot across an entire page. The new design hooked into these previously built capabilities in order to provide the same value with newly customized ad sizes to better fit the new content parameters.

Fully Responsive Capabilities

The design was made to be fully responsive for all three breakpoints of mobile, tablet, and desktop to ensure a seamless user experience. An important feature of the fully responsive design was to create responsive ad slots. For the advertisements, specifically, WDG’s design team had to create a clean design that appropriately balanced ad placement opportunities for Federal News Radio without losing featured story visibility on mobile and tablet. The design and development team used dynamic ad sizes based on screen width, repositioning the stories to accommodate the leader board ad size. The decision to use a “Load More” option as a limited version of infinite scroll allows users to view relevant content with the convenience of infinite scroll while still reaching key footer content with the control to load more if desired.

Determining a Data-Driven Winner

Google Analytics Experiment not only leverages user data to determine the best user experience, but projects a winner between the two designs. A mere three weeks into testing, the experiment predicted with 100% assurance the new version would be the winner and was therefore fully implemented into the redesign. Due to our strategic design and development efforts for the client, traffic has greatly increased. Federal News Radio analytics show a 2.65% lower bounce rate and increase of 72% average session duration, as well as 25 % more page views with 26% more pages viewed per session.

Make the front page with a data-driven design.

Start a Project

  • Thank you for your interest in working with us. We are excited to learn more about your project.

    Please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you quickly.

  • Select all that apply
  • Ballparks are fine.
  • Do you have a timeline requirement?
  • Upload Your RFP / RFI.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, jpeg, doc, docx, pdf, xls, xlsx, csv, txt, rtf.

SpaceNews

Created by Zaff Studiofrom the Noun Project