It was the Sunday morning, the 1st January 2017, when we’re still figuring out what went wrong the very last night at 12:00 AM the time we made the design live and CSS (scripts) crashed. We took the design (website) down as we didn’t want to go back to our previous design, we wanted to move our journey with the [new] fresh design. More than anything, it was a disappointment, a huge disappointment when we knew everything was working smooth till the last checked, 11:55 PM, 31st Dec 2016.
Well, after some countless discussions (and arguments) for one whole week, discovering the depth of the design yet again, here we are. Things have their own way to fall in place, and so marking a fresh start to the new year;
Meet The [new] Naked Truth…a theory to spoil the mask, the world wears. The all new design, new logo, reforming patterns of advertising, giving a due credit to our first love, User Experience (UX) and from every font to discovering the newsletter outline, there’s a lot more inside the packet.
A good experience is where a user finds what he/she is looking for with the least cognitive load. Anything that would help in helping the user in this regard is surely a good and intuitive user experience, says Tanmay, UI/UX expert who believes in designing the sexy, slick and simpler user interfaces and experiences.
Back to April 2016, Tanmay started developing the concept and designing it, we had no clear image of it, we were working on the concepts, we were discussing the concepts that what all we wanted to deliver through the design, and in today’s scenario, we find the advertising patterns quite distracting and mainstream, that come on, we’re now bored of it. I don’t find any meaning of placing the ads in between the content when you know the reader has come to read the stories, not the advertisements.
Online media portals started from pages with texts and only to evolve into a mayhem of all possible media formats. Nobody wants to find pieces of text in a sea of ads. This is a massive departure from that chaos. The rather simple-looking yet cleverly designed interface works well and puts the good old reading experience back on top, says Akshay, who keeps giving us inputs for the stories related to Automotive, Technology and Startups and he’s one guy with whom I never try to mess around Automotive part because he doesn’t have a heart, he has an engine.
Oh! You don’t see any adverts on the website right now, well, we have the spaces defined to make sure your reading experience doesn’t get carried away with any advert at any cost, it’s just we haven’t shown you yet, come back again some other time, you will find the adverts and you won’t be distracted at all. The secret talk is the spaces are still here.
The new Naked Truth site design would allow the users to focus on what they actually came here to read, rather than distracting them with items in abundance on the screen itself. It now allows for a much better and smoother reading experience, and also makes traversing to different parts of the website much easier, says Tanmay.
A major concern that I have seen with a lot of websites, is having to see advertisements in between articles, which sends me over the edge when I am trying to read something. Also, a lot of clutter on the screen while I read something, surely distracts me quite a lot. The new look Naked Truth, is much better on those fronts as well, he added.
With the months getting passed, Tanmay started reaching the point and started sharing glimpses of the design, and then in October, we hit the point, and we had our new design in our hands. Thank you, Invision and Zeplin for being so valuable during this phase (the two webs where we had our design shared).
The design is very clean and easy on eyes, the right amount of white space, and images and content make it quite appealing. It is intuitive! If I can reach the place with a minimum number of clicks, as a user, the design works for me. This design promises to provide minimal paths, says Vani, who has just completed her goal of reading 25 books in the last year and she writes fictional yet connecting stories and hard-hitting opinions here.
While the design reached in the hands of Avinash and Rehan to turn and tune it into the live phase, the coders who talk in the coding language that completely goes above my head (but still I really try hard to understand them), Tanmay and I started having discussions on redesigning the logo. We never wished to change the complete logo but rather to tweak it in a way which surfaces the new feel, a new look, a solid connect, and lives up to our tagline and website design.
The bold new look doesn’t only end with a website redesign, we redefined the complete identity of The Naked Truth to support our vision. A bold new logo, connects the dots between the bold opinions, to the confidence of standing by our thoughts. The icon connects the digital look to the print media, being a blend of digital and print media, says Tanmay.
How did we develop the whole concept of The [new] Naked Truth design?
In the previous design, we call it our ‘beta-try’ version, being a completely bootstrapped content startup, we knew we were missing out the edges. We were tracking the audience behaviour, yes, we are now heading towards the heatmap as well, and were grasping a whole lot of knowledge around the user experience, we felt there’s a need to realise the importance of the design that demands less focus, gives an easy read and more conversions (+more pageviews).
The Naked Truth had always been about bringing out the reality via opinions, but the site never seemed to be at par with the vision. The opinions that were supposed to be the centre-piece of the whole discussion were lost behind a lot of glitters. So with the new design, I tried to bring the boldness that The Naked Truth stands for, to life. The bold new look, with the bold new colour set, would allow in pushing opinions in all the right directions, says Tanmay.
We wanted to give a special focus on the Featured Stories (you know, advertisers love that space more), so we put it on Above the Fold (thank you, Tanmay) and when you hover any story, it says “Read Story” having a shadow at the back and when you click to “Scroll down for more”, you get on the Latest Stories column.
Big images take all the space and push the website administrator to stick to one, two or three articles at a time when space has a lot to offer but it wasn’t properly used just to display bigger images which somehow make the website constraint. Keeping it neat and colourful, Above the Fold offers you nine stories at a glance, even if we replace three stories (max) with the adverts, six are still there to grab the reader’s attention.
You wanna see the image in a big size, why don’t you just click on it? You will experience not only the cover image but a major different experience with the background filling it with effects. Trust us, a good design experience manages to create a “world” of difference and “word” of difference.
Scrolling down to the Latest Stories section on the homepage, a reader has his/her first look at the category and then, the headline and we gave the handful attention to both, and favouring your interests, you can click on the story. We have always believed in versatility and having different viewpoints on The Naked Truth, be it Technology or Politics or any you find there, so with a proper white spacing, we desired the reader’s attention to make sure it gets converted from one to many good reads.
As Vani reckons, it’s a progressive new space which encourages people to say what they feel. The brand also realises that there are no absolute truths, just relative truths and allow people to present counter views, keeping in mind we have given the handy attention to the Newsletter.
It’s there on the landing page and on the navigation bar, so that if you believe in our stories at any point, you don’t miss out to subscribe our newsletter (personalised newsfeed) which gets your eyes weekly right inside your inbox. See that’s at the top right, and your Email ID is now a tap away from us, feel free to click it and do the needful.
On the article page, having a minimalistic approach, you can find the top 3 trending stories and the 3 latest stories on the right, and at the bottom, there are 3 related stories to the article you have just read, and there are links of the previous and next story, so if you’re puzzled for what to read next and don’t want to ponder, just scroll down, click next or click previous, and you have made your read one story stronger.
One another thing we did in our design is that it has got the shadow of the cover image of the article blowing the effects covered with some gradients and gives you an impression to make it more fascinating for you. And the sharing widget is on your left so that you don’t forget to spread the story in your circle, on the social media platforms. The sharing widget will scroll down continuously the more you read, so that you never forget to share the story anytime.
What was the first reaction after you explored the new design? I asked Akshay.
Functional. The utter simplicity you feel at first glance without any of the potential distractions for reading. There is a lot of attention at form without making function a second priority, he replied.
We always wanted more submissions (who doesn’t), so we revamped the submissions page so that even if one isn’t much convinced to write for us, the one writes just to try the new submission design pattern (by the way, we joke a lot). The design in every way works on the depth of the user experience, from significant colour codes to the background. No doubt, we love imparting the colour combinations of Black, Red, and White, maybe because we are millennials too.
Any website that is easy to navigate through would attract a reader. Having to go through several pages to read one article is a big put off, says Meghna, who knows French and writes her opinions on the emerging issues in English here.
The Graffiti Corner has a very fresh look surrounded by the view of different graffitis all over and keeping at the note of appealing view to put your focus on every single graffiti. We discovered the pathways to have an impactful design which delivers the handful user experience which also adds the value to the branding. Because from the start to the end, everything counts and equally matters.
Like says Tanmay, I would like to see The Naked Truth taking a stand like its tagline, and thus, making use of this bold identity to achieve what it is after. Let’s be Bold.
Our next up will be The Honest Beings…because yes, they exist. While Facebook Instant Article is already adding worth to the handful reading experience, our next focus is to figure out Google AMP and configure it into our website.
We will keep working on defining the UI and UX in the most better ways we could ever imagine during the late night storming sessions while listening to Rock or Bollywood, and yes, a mobile app is completely on our mind. They say it’s an era of Mobile First, to the surprise, our 75-80% readers come from the Mobile, to be precise, maximum readers account from the United States, India stands on the third as of now, to be more precise, maximum users have their hands on Android. Apple (iOS), what’s up, bro?
Trust us, content is the next incoming disruption (no jokes, we’re serious) on the internet and we are not going to leave any space in any way and every way come what may, trust us. Without the appreciation, motivation, feedback, and all that criticism, this couldn’t have been possible ever. Every reader is our moving force. Thank you, one and all. Keep reading and sharing the stories, and please don’t forget to look forward to The Honest Beings.
Well, a few already have an idea about The Honest Beings (of course, that already counts our teammates), let me tell you something new, the next to next up will be, let me give a pen name: Shorts.
So now you have come up till this para (I’m just too glad), I will not ask you to subscribe our newsletter because I know you are a reader, you will definitely do it one day if not now, and if you have subscribed, you are going to get some really interesting stuff (and thought-provoking) reaching your inbox soon weekly because we will surely not love seeing our Emails in trash folder, nor your mailbox will.
Give a shot to view our Team section and know more About Us, both through one single page, About page, it’s there on the navigation bar and in the footer, just click it. A big thanks to every teammate for believing in The Naked Truth, because you know what, without you, it wouldn’t have been possible. Thaankyouu for being so wonderful, generous and tenacious. Mark it, this is the year of change!
And on the last note, dear readers, please don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments section below, yes, we are always up for some productive discussions. Explore and experience the all new stock (design) and feel free to drop us a line through the contact us form (it’s there in the footer), we don’t take much time to respond.
Signing off, thanks for being here, and will always love to see you here!
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I read. I write. A threat to humor, if one liners could kill. Twitter: @ayushxgarg