Everyone involved in this project felt it was critical to give the new RNZ both a visual and editorial difference in the marketplace – an ‘ownable’ aesthetic that would be as instantly recognisable in a Facebook feed as on the site itself. The previous colour system was based on stations, and made little sense in the new mixed up reality; instead we went with a limited palette, no-nonsense typography and a distinct image treatment that could be easily rolled out.
RNZ audio is now consumed in lots of different ways – not just broadcast radio. For audio and other content, our challenge was to unpick many schedule-based structures and create a web-centric architecture. Our plan was to establish a big ‘soup’ of all the amazing content, which could be consumed in the many different ways people want.
A media site has relatively few basic building blocks – mostly you’re working with stories, grids of story teasers or lists of story teasers. Within each of those, however, is a great deal of variation in content and layout. We created a component-based design system to provide varied, interesting ways to explore the site – and to give authors simple but effective tools to extend their storytelling.
Groups of stories can be displayed in ‘pods’ with varying numbers and layouts. For smaller screens we implemented a horizontal overflow so that visitors who don't enjoy Lithuanian choral music don't have to scroll for miles past a Lithuanian choral music pod.
Since its release, the website has been a talking point both on and off the airwaves. Here are some of the comments that have come back to us, both from content creators and lovers of RNZ:
We’re absolutely delighted with the site’s new modern face and the reaction from our audience. We are already seeing the benefits and want to keep building on the big improvements.