Matt Zarandi logo

Engadget 5.0

Engadget is a hugely popular technology blog focusing on consumer electronics. Founded in 2004, it has seen many design changes throughout the years with 2015's being the largest yet, featuring a full front and back-end rethink plus a strategic content shift. The driving forces behind the change were to develop the maturity of Engadget visually, vastly improve mobile experiences to capitalise on audience device shift, provide editors with more powerful tools and to grow audiences and revenue.

In past versions, the site has always remained relatively rigid and unable to present content in ways editors would like. With more templates available and the ability to mix ‘slices’ of content, editors can now display live text updates and video streaming on any page for events such as the Apple Keynote and CES, display articles as features with a greater focus on imagery and cross pollinate content anywhere on the site.

With Engadget now available in multiple editions and territories, this was truly an international project with teams across the globe coming together to deliver the next chapter in the Engadget story.

Role on project: Design & UX lead, international (AOL)

Engadget.com
Engadget repsonsive showcase
Responsive showcase
Engadget homepage Engadget homepage
Home page featuring content and review slices
Engadget review page Engadget review page
Product review page with splash image and rating breakdown modules
Engadget article page
Article page
Engadget longform article page
Feature article page with splash image and chapter breakdown module
Engadget homepage
Section homepage
Engadget mobile showcase
Mobile showcase

Project workflow

Engadget is split operationally into two divisions, US and international. With the UK office being the international hub, our operations also encompassed Engadget editions in Spain, Germany, Japan and China. Ensuring user and business needs were met across all territories, in addition to our own, was an added priority for the UK team throughout entirety of the project.

Being an international project, understanding and gaining insight into our users in each territory through existing data, personas and user journey mapping, was our first point of call.

Engadget user journey mapping
User journey mapping

Prototyping and testing

Teams in each territory held design studios with their respective colleagues locally and internationally. Each team worked on and contributed to a global master prototype covering core templates before working on their own respective local products and templates. Working in this way allowed teams to agree on global site patterns and structure which could then be tested before localisation occured and further patterns developed if required.

In the UK for example, an alternative 'buyers guide' product was required over that used in our other editions due to previous sponsorship agreement restrictions. Similar solutions were required for other products across our other international editions.

Section home page template sketch
Engadget article page Engadget Axure prototypes
Early Axure prototype for live coverage and article templates

Once wireframes had been agreed and tested, a high fidelity prototype using live content was created for final testing and further localisation.

With Engadget also undergoing a significant rebrand predominantly overseen by our colleagues in the US, this was the first point at which international teams were able to work with it. Building a high fidelity prototype in the browser allowed us to do that in an environment as close to production as possible.

Engadget desktop prototype Engadget mobile prototype
Hi-fi desktop and mobile prototypes
Engadget remote user testing
Hi-Fi remote user testing

Documentation

During the early stages of development, a comprehensive living style guide was created in conjunction with our development support agency allowing for internal developers locally and internationally to begin work in their respective areas.

This was the first of its kind at AOL and became a blueprint for future living styleguides across other brands.

Engadget style guide documentation
Style guide documentation

Results

Launched in conjunction with an editorial shift to reporting on wider tech issues, in strong Engadget markets such as the US and UK, audience grew and subsequently revenue. The US edition accelerated its year on year growth and in the UK, the largest audience growth was seen, jumping from 1.1m UVs per month to 1.6m year on year.

Next project Building a UX Team arrow right icon