CNN introduced a redesign of its website that will rollout to the public at the end of September, unifying the consumer experience across all platforms and simplifying the ad-buying process for mobile.
“The future of CNN is as much about digital as it is about a television screen,” CNN President Jeff Zucker said at a media event in New York Wednesday. “I fervently believe mobile is a big part of our future.”
The Time Warner Cable network is increasingly accessed from social networks and mobile outlets and is growing its international audience. The challenge to “fit” news published across 20 different media outlets and nine different editions in six languages has led to the digital facelift that will include much larger photos to anchor stories. "Big pictures and big headlines," is the word from Zucker.
The redesign will also introduce a different, intuitive color palette to the site, in which colors will change in accordance with the time of day. In the morning, CNN.com will have softer colors, shifting to blues and grays during the day. The brands iconic red hue will be brought out for breaking news such as bombings or plane crashes. The site essentially will function "like a mood ring," CNN.com Senior Vice President KC Estenson told Fast Company. "The site itself will morph based on the news of the day." The color palette, as well as the redesign as a whole serves to make the new site less cluttered and more easily translated on mobile devices, which now accounts for nearly 40 percent of CNN.com's traffic.
As for advertising, CNN plans to apply new tagging functions that will help marketers utilize trendy "native" advertising. The function will allow readers to tag a particular story, which will enable the site to push updates to their mobile phone, email or social media account.
“The grand vision here is that at some point we can dynamically publish the site for the individual,” Estenson said. “We are heading toward a world with more personalization, this is yourCNN."
CNN will also make it US video feed available on its homepage from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., rather than only when major news breaks, making it the only TV network to have a live feed on its website all day long.
In the end, Estenson said the $15 million makeover serves to transform the site from a "machine that spits out breaking news," to something that is less overwhelming and reflective of the "human beings that are creating this stuff."