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Channel 4

Youth Research Website

UK Tribes showcases Channel 4’s research, knowledge and understanding of how the 16-24 year old market is fabricated and how it operates. C4 specialise in youth culture and through the UK Tribes brand are able to offer potential advertisers information that will help their advertising campaigns target this sector more effectively.

The Brief

Channel 4 explore the tribes in which young people gather and the youth culture they’re involved in; all of which is described directly from the Tribe communities making the results more genuine and less generalised. C4 needed a new fresh colourful website for Tribe members to share their stories and JBi were perfect for the job. We transformed the outdated, clunky and hard to use website into a visually powerful platform to showcase their rich and colourful research.

Objectives

  • Easy to navigate, modern & engaging site
  • A site that adheres to Channel 4’s security protocols
  • Capture user details through clean and simple pop-ups, enabling them to access content
  • A platform to demonstrate the research done by Channel 4
  • A website to facilitate in advertising sales
The UK Tribes website homepage sits open on an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, alone on a table surface centre frame
UK Tribes on a Macbook
The UK Tribes website homepage sits open on an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, alone on a table surface centre frame

Planning

As with all design-lead sites, we concentrated on how we could place the content to make it as clean and readable as possible. So we created wireframes with flexible content areas so each page layout would still look great regardless of the amount of content. As part of the planning stage, we also had to consider the placement of calls-to-action; for this we devised heatmap plans based on where calls-to-action are proven to be most effective. This strategic planning allowed the team to begin designing around key elements on each page.

Pointing on iPad Channel 4
Pointing on iPad Channel 4

Design and Experience

JBi needed to create an exciting website that showed off C4’s attitude but also its depth of research and resources. Aside from the couple of brand guidelines in place, such as colour, we almost had free reign of everything else, including fonts and styling. The Channel 4 brand is already pretty cool, quirky and bursting with energy, so all we had to do was reflect this in the new UK Tribes site, easy! Right? The previous website was not user friendly and everything seemed to be 8 clicks away when only one was needed, it was exhausting! So first things first, we removed the clunky hover states and needless interactions to create a smooth user experience, only using hover states for the important stuff on the page, such as sub navs. The design was also fully responsive on desktop, tablet and mobile. So now all we had to do was wait for Channel 4 to approve the mock ups…

Laying down with iPhone 6
Laying down with iPhone 6

Development

With the designs approved it was time to build! We chose a WordPress platform for flexibility and scalability, allowing content writers to upload and preview their content easily before it was published by an Admin user. A more serious approach to the site was required to ensure we adhered to the strict security and privacy guidelines handed to us by Channel 4.

We built secure forms into the CMS where the data was encrypted and a branded email was fired out to the user to confirm receipt of the enquiry. One of the biggest problems JBi faced at this stage was turning an awkward and unnecessary email login into something accessible and time efficient. The old website required first time users to enter their details and wait for an email enclosing their login credentials before they could read and enjoy the site. This login email was manually processed by Admin which, as you can imagine, took up an unnecessary amount of time. So, by using cookies (yum) JBi ensured the new site requires only an email address upon arrival, to capture data for the advertisers, and the user is free to roam! No user waiting, no admin time wasting. It’s a win, win in our eyes, except now we want cookies…

Girl Using iPhone
Young man using an Apple iPhone
"When it comes to showcasing valuable research online, design and visual impact stand at the forefront of our planning. Not only did we need to consider the layout and readability of the content in this project, but also using functionality to encourage users and key advertisers to join."

Deployment

At the deployment phase we came across a little hiccup. We had no direct server access which meant that we had to implement a layered release phase in line with Channel 4’s security guidelines. This tried and tested our timeframe, and maybe our brains, but it worked successfully and the site was ready to complete it’s final stage – testing.

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