TORONTO—Shedoesthecity (SDTC), an online young women’s lifestyle mag, relaunched and redesigned in time for the new year. "The site before was outdated," said SDTC founder Jen McNeely.
To help capture the essence of its newly focused editorial content, web designer Jimmy Rose (with guidance from consultant Gary Campbell, senior UX designer for Amazon.com and former digital executive producer for Toronto Life), overhauled SDTC’s aesthetics for a "much cleaner and modern look." The team added more photographic elements and removed the old site’s many flourishes that were made to look hand-drawn.
"Intially, Jen saw the site as more of a homemade, hand-crafted, DIY kind of thing. Now we’ve kind of grown up a bit so we’re going with a more professional feel," Rose said. The logo was also tweaked along the same lines. "We took the very basic elements of the old logo and just made a monochromatic version, removing any hand-drawn lines that were used for outlining," he said.
The previous site used Tahoma and American Standard fonts for a typewriter feel. "We wanted to keep the typewriter look, but swing more modern," Rose said. Jubilat is used for display text, and Freight Sans, which Rose says is "kind of like Helvetica or Arial but with more warmth," is used for body text.
The revamped colour palette includes bright red and greys, with a soft pink for backgrounds. "The previous site was hot pink all over, with some yellow," Rose said. "We wanted to keep a feminine edge to it, but we got kind of sick of the pink after five years."
Launched in 2007 and originally run on Drupal, the new site is powered by WordPress, which Rose said has opened the door for more plug-ins to play with. "The layout is a lot more intuitive, both for advertisers and editorial readers," McNeely said. New touches include more links to keep readers engaged and on-site, new search capabilities that allow readers to filter by author, and drop-down menus.
SDTC averages 60,000 unique monthly visitors and 110,000 monthly page views. On the December 17 relaunch, traffic jumped 144%, said McNeely.