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Responses by Rebecca Sherman, managing director, Bluecadet

Background: As part of WHYY’s commitment to serving the modern day digital and broadcast audience, the Greater Philadelphia public media provider has combined its two primary websites—WHYY.org and NewsWorks.org—into a single platform that unifies its content and brand. The new and improved WHYY.org brings together the station’s respected and award-winning news service with the organization’s video and audio content, schedules, event listings and more.

Highlights: The site-wide consistent audio player that would allow users to stream episodes and segments while browsing the site is a key feature. The site design also uses flexible templates that showcases stories with immersive full-bleed photography and presents editorial articles with thumb-stopping in-line media, including slideshows, images, video and audio.

Challenges: We had many challenges since we had to migrate sixteen years’ worth of data from multiple platforms into a single WordPress site—including 96,000 pieces of legacy content with a mix of articles, episodes, programs and series pages.

Time constraints: We worked closely with WHYY’s team to identify the priorities for the website launch. This allowed both of our teams to focus on features that would achieve its highest-priority goals for the initial site launch and shift other important goals to subsequent phases.

Anything new: We assembled user focus groups early on to learn about user journeys and listener behavior that would elaborate on the stories we could interpret from Google Analytics. Gathering this qualitative data helped inform the design approach and define the feature set and content strategy. In addition, bringing in the content authoring team early on in the production phase helped validate various assumptions we’d made about the publishing process.

Technical features: We’ve incorporated a well-known plugin called Ajaxify Wordpress Site, in addition to our own custom JS code, to create a seamless experience that encourages the users to listen to the segments/episode and simultaneously browse engaging articles and other content.

whyy.org

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