We've launched a refreshed look! Here's the what and why.
- It's a lot nicer looking, yea? This is hugely important!
- We wanted to lighten the look and feel. We believe that looking too heavy makes an experience feel cumbersome, and looking light feels more intuitive. The heavy text and colored blocks of the older design were pretty clear and working well (usage increased after we launched that design), but felt heavy.
- It's now even easier for a partner site to customize, and, the layer with gradient background allows background images.
The question always is, even with a seemingly-subtle change, will it hurt usage? Confuse users? Will people feel betrayed?
And in this case specifically, will losing the clear boundaries of the blocks make people less certain that they can click/tap, and where they can?
Validation and Roll-Out
Some might say that this is the sort of thing you should test internally, then slowly release it to a few places and gauge the usage. We have taken this approach with other features several times in the past.
We didn't do that this time around.
We did a lot of internal discussion and validation with our partner sites and trusted professional network. This was a case where we and our partner media sites felt the aesthetic win was so strong relative to how risky we thought the UX change would be (i.e, not very risky), that we decided to move ahead with the release and monitor the performance with the largest dataset possible: our full audience.
It's been about 2 months since we did the launch, and so far, there's been no loss of usage, and some of our sites look up a bit. We talked with our partner sites regularly, and it's been universally well-received.
And no doubt, looking better has made it easier to convince would-be partners that Antenna is a benefit to their community and brand, which is definitely helping grow our network -- lifting our metrics, and our ability to drive traffic for our partners.