Helping people make better business decisions.
The Harvard Business Review is one of the strongest brands in business, but to continue growing in a rapidly changing publishing industry, the company needed to lead by example, making its content more accessible and more personalized than ever before.
Harvard Business Review’s audience is much broader than the C-suite executives who have relied on the publication since the 1920s. Today, rising stars represent an important new demographic of readers, and their expectations - shaped by the Internet - are higher than ever. HBR sought to continue its evolution into a truly digital-first business model and provide a best-in-class online reading experience that would innately reflect not just its vision and values but the publication’s own expertise in digital management.
Content should be personalized and easy to navigate and share.
To understand what readers lacked in their print experience that could be fulfilled by digital, Huge conducted stakeholder interviews and user testing, and completed a heuristic evaluation and a competitive analysis. We devised a new approach with three guiding principles: modernize the digital brand experience with a new look and feel; put the user in control; and offer every reader the kind of personalized, curated experience only possible through digital.
Put the user in control and offer every reader the kind of personalized, curated experience only possible through digital.
We designed a fully responsive digital property to deliver a premium reading experience that aids the user’s own personal development and learning. Even if users have only five minutes to visit the site, the experience is designed to feed their ambition, build their knowledge base and help them complete tasks quickly and easily. We focused on personalizing the digital experience in order to facilitate readers’ progress towards their own professional goals.
We listened to users and gave them what they asked for: The new HBR.org makes it easy to follow topics and offers registered users and subscribers their own personal library on the site where they can save content and create shareable reading lists. Rich content and social media integration broaden the conversation between the magazine and its audience. The design supports users who know exactly what they’re looking for through search and navigation, but allows users to find new resources serendipitously, via browsing, personal recommendations and benchmarking. Readers control the flow of information on their pages. Social media integration promotes sharing, grows audiences and boosts online subscriptions.
We challenged assumptions and pushed the design in order to create a bold, intuitive interface allowing readers to discover relevant content easily.
To stay coordinated throughout development, Huge and the Harvard Business Review team worked together on a daily basis, collaborating on everything from prototyping to testing the new site with users. After determining the site’s architecture and navigation, our visual design team worked alongside HBR to challenge assumptions and push the design in order to create a bold, intuitive interface allowing readers to discover relevant content easily. Given HBR’s strong brand identity, we needed to find the right balance between timely and classic design ideas. The solution was a foundation based on the classic presentation of ideas, with a more modern, topic-based organization.
A richer reading experience.
The new HBR.org provides a best-in-class reading experience that works seamlessly across platforms, prioritizing content based on the individual user and device. Its tone and feel are smart but friendly, respected but approachable, modern and empathetic. With more social shares, an increase in online subscriptions, and a boost for e-commerce sales, it's a modernized digital identity for one of the most trusted brands in business.