Religion News Service is the largest unbiased news source of religion, ethics, and spirituality. Their content is frequently syndicated by news organizations like CNN and The Huffington Post. Publishing is nothing new to RNS; they have been reporting for over 78 years. Antistatic and eecoder were faced with the challenge of not only designing a fresh new look for the RNS brand and web site, but also finding a way to help RNS use web technology to modernize their publishing workflow while increasing the efficiency of their overall business.
By carefully studying RNS’s existing workflow, Antistatic and eecoder helped RNS define an architecture for publishing that ensured a user-friendly experience as well as room for future growth. From the very beginning stages, our strategy defined an information architecture and content categories built around better SEO. Through the discovery and strategy phases, we determined that in order to be future-forward, the new website must be designed and built responsively. This would provide an appropriate experience for all users, no matter what device they are on (e.g., Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc).
Once the information architecture was solidified, we analyzed content priorities by news section and by page, for the massive volume of news content that cycles through RNS on a daily basis. These extensive requirements laid the groundwork for 50+ wireframes, visually depicting the flow of the new website.
After the publishing strategy, information architecture, and user interface wireframes were approved, Antistatic began the branding and website design. We explored several visual design concepts for the responsive homepage. A single site aesthetic evolved from the 10 initial design concepts we presented to RNS. Today, this aesthetic provides RNS with a cohesive, memorable, and easily recognizable brand identity.
Through our partnership with eecoder, RNS received unparalleled knowledge and expertise in ExpressionEngine. The strength of an EE foundation is that it enables seamless web site functionality through one user-friendly back-end. By working closely with RNS, eecoder identified several predominant functionality needs, and designed custom EE add-ons which enable the RNS website to respond to the unique nature of the news industry.
Antistatic helped catapult the look and feel of Religion News Service into the 21st century in so many ways. The branding they created for us is eye-catching, and the redesign of our website is engaging and user-friendly.
Debra Mason - Publisher, Religion News Service