A digital transformation

Northern Life, Sudbury’s community newspaper for over 40 years was ready to take a bold step towards becoming the leader in a changing media landscape. The leadership team at Northern Life foresaw a new digital era where they grew beyond simply being a community newspaper website and would become the source for everything Sudbury.

Sudbury.com required a design team to ensure the success of their new digital news platform. We worked closely with their leadership and development teams to design an interface that would attain their key business goals.

By studying user data, understanding their current readership, and planning for the evolving user experience, we designed a beautifully responsive Sudbury.com. The site has since become one of the most consistently visited websites in Greater Sudbury. With a clean, functional, and intuitive interface, users can easily browse top stories happening in a specific neighbourhood, around the city, across Northern Ontario and across the globe.

The project has helped Sudbury.com establish itself as the most trusted and reliable source of news in Sudbury, Ontario.

Results

  • 33% growth in page views
  • 118% growth in new users
  • 61% growth in total users
  • Increased revenue with additional space for advertisers
  • 2x recipient of the Canadian Community Newspaper Website Award (2016 and 2017)

Increased revenue with an efficient use of limited space

Advertising is the primary revenue stream for any media business. One of the primary goals of the project was to increase online readership so advertising would become more appealing for potential clients. By simplifying the user experience, visitors began viewing more pages, reading more content and staying on the website longer. Increasing the amount of page views increases the reach of advertisers and also increases the advertising premium.

Through strategic thinking and good design, we increased the opportunity for advertising revenue without sacrificing the user experience.

Maximizing content delivery

Analytics confirmed that users are less likely to engage with the site the further down they scroll to find content. By rethinking, redesigning, and reordering the layout of elements, we were able to increase the amount of stories appearing ‘above the fold.’ We also made a concerted effort to give advertisements more breathing room within the design, so they fit more naturally and seamlessly within the form.

Launching Sudbury.com

A public launch was a critical component to the success of the Sudbury.com transformation. We designed print and digital elements for general awareness in the community, as well as pieces that would be delivered directly to the current readership of Northern Life. Most notably, we designed a special edition cover spread for the Northern Life newspaper announcing the new Sudbury.com, its features and its community-first philosophy.

By consulting closely with our team, Studio123 were able to evaluate our Google Analytics and design a modern website that caters to our users’ needs across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Studio123’s understanding of the user experience, their attention to detail, exceptional customer service and professionalism ensured the project was a success.


Abbas Homayed – Vice President/Publisher, Sudbury.com, Northern Life, Northern Ontario Business

What We Did

  • Branding
  • Digital
  • Print design
  • Responsive website design
  • UI / UX design
  • Website strategy
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