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Home Latest news Welcome to the new Friday Media Group website

Welcome to the new Friday Media Group website

Friday Media Group’s websites are visited by tens of millions of visitors every year, and although the group website has the dubious honour of being one of the lesser-visited sites in our portfolio, it fulfils an important function of encapsulating the group as a whole.

FMG wants to attract a high calibre of employee, give our partners confidence in our company and clearly communicate what we do, and without a professional website, we cannot do this.

This year the decision was made to create something that truly reflected Friday Media Group.

Friday Media Group is unique, and this comes with complexities when it comes to designing a website. We create websites, apps, magazines and cooked breakfasts. We wanted to make sure the new site was an accurate representation of this unique ecosystem.

The old website

The previous website was a poor reflection of FMG. We are a web design company and had a badly designed website. We offer content writing, yet the website was a masterclass in waffle. We have a portfolio of jobs boards yet we didn’t promote vacancies on our own website.

Our head of HR, along with the director of marketing, set the challenge to create a website that fulfilled the objective of representing FMG.

Our employer brand plays a significant role in respect of recruitment, partnership and driving the business and its success.

Our data team established how people were using our current website. We found out most people were potential employees, potential partners, or people keen to learn about Friday Media Group.

We conducted a survey to see what people liked and disliked about the current site, plus what they felt the site lacked. Responses were summarised onto post-its which made it easy to dissect feedback by visualising responses and grouping replies into trends.

Now that we understood our audience and what they wanted, we could start on creating the foundations of the new website.

We started by simplifying the site layout and navigation flow. The old site relied too heavily on using the menu, there were too many dead ends, and it didn’t have any hierarchy.

We divided the content into one of four main sections; what we do, who we are, where we are and work with us.

But we also tried to introduce user journeys into the website and make navigation more natural, removing the reliance on the menu. One page would lead to the next, and then onto the next. It meant the process of applying for a job could be done within a single click, but the rest of the site was within arm’s reach and the site still maintained a sense of discovery.

Wireframing

Once we had worked out a layout, we could wireframe the website.

These basic outlines are like the blueprints for the site and from here we can see how much content needed to be written, how to balance this text with imagery, and also get a feel of how the navigation would work. We used Invision to create a basic prototype from which we could flesh out into a more visual design.

We created a moodboard and during a short workshop whittled a few hundred ideas down to just a handful, from which we could use the inspiration to create our own visual identity.

The style had to combine photos and illustrations, and expand on the brand identity that has developed internally over the last few years. We wanted it to be fun but professional, carefree but focused.

We used photos to encapsulate FMG – the people and the working environment but we combined with illustrations as they’re a powerful way of illustrating ideas and concepts which is sometimes beyond the capabilities of photos alone.

People are at the centre of everything Friday Media Group does; whether they are our employees, our customers or their customers. We wanted the illustrations to clearly show the buyers, the sellers, the job hunters, the recruiters, the readers, and even the shoppers connecting with our products. They also had to communicate other concepts throughout the site.

While the visual side was coming together, so too was the content. Our content team put together guidelines so that for the first time we could project a consistent tone of voice throughout the site.

The previous website used 100 words to say something that could be said in ten. We needed to move away from jargon and instead make every word count. We wanted it to be conversational but professional, and if it didn’t add value to the site, we didn’t add it.

Soon the grey boxes became illustrations, and the lorem ipsum became meaningful text, and a visual representation of the website started to develop. We use Sketch, which is a lightweight but powerful programme. Symbol libraries mean global elements like buttons and styles can be updated instantly, and integration with Invision means handover to development incredibly straight-forward.

News

The site was built on a content management system to make it easier than ever to keep up-to-date. As a company we are always innovating and creating new products and although the monthly wrap meetings extol the virtues of the next big launch, we have been bad at communicating and chronicling this on our own website. Now we have no excuse.

Meet the Team

People make up the very fabric of Friday Media Group, and this page was essential. We wanted to avoid it being a corporate governance page with awkward headshots of directors. Sam, our Managing Director, was insistent that it included everybody from directors to the office dog and everyone in between. We wanted to make sure it didn’t discriminate by role, by office or by age. But people come and go, and it was not realistic to include 300+ employees, but we wanted to make sure it included a diverse cross-section of staff while still being low maintenance. The reality is that this page will never be finished – it will change and develop as FMG does.

History

Did you know Friday Media Group is over 40 years old? If you were looking at our old website, then probably not.

Our long and illustrious history is important; it shows we have continually evolved with the times and gives us credibility when we say we’re experienced.

We added a timeline and incorporated historical milestones from outside the world of FMG to give our achievements context – friday-ad.co.uk, for example, was a trailblazer of its time and was connecting buyers and sellers while Google was still but a twinkle in Larry Page’s eye.

The little details

The devil’s in the detail. We tried to apply a holistic way of thinking with everything we did. We even spent time making sure the error pages looked good because with the new website there are a lot of people that could be arriving via outdated links and it could be the first thing they see. Hopefully nobody will ever see these pages, but at least if they do, they give a good first impression.

Please enjoy our new website. Every decision we made throughout the process was borne out from the feedback we received. With everybody’s help, Friday Media Group’s DNA runs through every page, and we finally have a website we can be proud of.

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