Developed with the Vice Media team, the new site is based around video content and launches with an i-D commissioned premiere of M.I.A’s new video Y.A.L.A.
The new website aims to be heavily user-focused, with visitors able to ‘construct their own, individually curated i-D experience’. Tagged interest topics will create a personalised stream of stories and information on the site.
The site will feature interviews, opinion pieces, columns and exclusive fashion shoots.
Each piece of content is catagorised in an A-Z topic stream, with archived content from throughout the title’s 33-year history available on the site.
i-D is also partnering with brands including Mercedes-Benz, KENZO and Nokia to develop content including films.
Andrew Creighton, president of Vice, says, ‘i-D’s history lies in discovering new talent and the innovation of i-D’s family of contributors. i-D.co is the next chapter of finding and launching these ideas that are the instant, inspirational language of fashion and culture.’
We spoke to VICE executive creative director Joel Kitzmiller, who led the project, about how it developed:
Design Week: User focused design is obviously very central to the site. How did you develop this and what were the challenges?
Joel Kitzmiller: ‘We certainly had a lot of boxes to tick with attempting to design and develop a fashion platform—there is definitely no shortage of them online. Ultimately it comes down to how and where people consume content and how great the content is. The start of our UX conversation was, “how and when will people view our content?” Personally, I am a firm believer that our user-base is going to be too busy to sit and consume everything on their desktop, or even on their mobile (especially over data-plans). This, coupled with the fact that there is just so much content to find online, brought us to the conclusion that we needed to focus on making sure the content was intelligent enough to find the user and allow them to drive and tailor it (because at the end of the day it’s about them, not us). We were pretty scientific when it came to finding a solution to this problem and we did everything from workshops with the i-D team, defining the user base; to algorithmic data recommendation systems; to taking personal notes from what we thought worked best on the web. At launch, most of this thinking and these features have yet to be implemented, so there is a lot more to be introduced in the coming weeks. The hope is that all the features we will launch will simplify the discovery and consumption of fashion content online.’
DW: Why did you place such an importance on video-driven content?
JK: ‘At VICE, we know well that online video has emerged as the most engaging content for our audience. Video views across our other platforms are growing so we instinctively knew video was the area we could help i-D grow. We also expect this content to be key to growing that audience over time. That said, I think that users will decide for themselves what other kinds of content they want to see, it’s not really for us to assume. We know what works well with VICE and we have taken a lot of learning from that, but there are lots of successful, high-traffic sites around the web that do other things besides video and we never wanted to discount that. At the end of the day, we wanted the experience to be as inclusive and compliment what our audience already does online.’
DW: How does the site relate to I-D’s print magazine and other activities?
JK: ‘We worked really closely with i-D’s editorial team and art director to help develop the content strategy and to make sure the overall look and feel was in line with the brand. Collectively, we all decided pretty early on that the experience needed to be additive – something that complemented the magazine but did not compete with it. The i-D editorial team continues to drive all of this and they are focused on making exclusive content for the site that takes advantage of the capabilities being online gives us.’