June 4, 2015

Boise State through the Lens of FOCUS

After a successful three-year-and-counting partnership with Boise State University, Westwerk was tapped to work with FOCUS, Boise State’s alumni magazine, to produce its first-ever digital presence.

FOCUS is a twice-yearly printed publication that was looking to develop its first online platform that would allow it to produce two additional publications a year (with less cost investment than print publishing). Its online publication needed to mirror the layouts of its printed version while still leveraging all of the advantages that a digital medium offers. It needed to encourage a seamless user transition from print to web, be accessible on mobile and tablet devices for its younger audiences, and most importantly, it needed to be user-friendly to avoid alienating its aging population.

Because content would serve as the key driver in this online publication, we started by evaluating each content type in the printed publication and identifying unique modules that would support this content digitally. Since the small FOCUS editorial team was also responsible for entering the content on the site, we developed the WordPress dashboard using a custom page-building system that allows content creators to add features such as slideshows, attention-grabbing callouts and image galleries quickly and easily. What’s more, they can rearrange the placement of entire sections of content to achieve the perfect, print-ready layout in digital form – in mere clicks of a button.

To showcase this rich content, we designed the homepage as a full-bleed mosaic of posts that places the media front and center, with an easy to scan grid of large pictures and bold headlines. We added helpful tooltips to guide the user through the site and subtle animations to draw readers into each article. Additionally, by placing an emphasis on mobile responsiveness, it ensured that users have a quality reading experience regardless of their reading device.

Take a peek newly launched site here.

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