Our research identified issues with navigation and page formatting, both of which needed to be clearer and more streamlined. There were also additional features that users wanted from the site, such as improved map functionality and enhanced location services. In addition, we aimed to increase retention rates by improving communication between the publisher and users, and adding interactive features.
Our analysis of site users illustrated that 45% had been accessing the website via their mobile phone, so supporting these users was a major objective. A responsive web design was assembled using the latest HTML5/CSS3 technologies and we employed a series of different techniques to improve rendering performance. This ensured that all content was optimized across all devices. We also advocated a technical migration from PHP to the highly advanced Node.js, to allow for greater capacity and scalability. In addition, we developed a content management system using Backbone.js to give the Times+ content team almost infinite control over the different website elements.
Our team began working on a fresh and open design, tailored for different devices and linking in with the Times rebranding, as well as the new strapline ‘Events, Offers, Extras’. We also worked on ways to minimize clutter and improve the typography, something users were particularly concerned about.
Clock have run Times+ since its inception in 2008 and the figures show just how valuable an asset it is for The Times and The Sunday Times. Up to 65% of eligible subscribers are engaged with Times+. For those active Times+ users, the churn rate is as low as 8%, compared with 43% for subscribers not engaged with Times+. Times+ users are twice as likely to recommend The Times and The Sunday Times, while the click-through rate on the Times+ newsletter is double the News UK average.
The new site went live in February 2014, and initial stats show increased mobile use, reduced bounce rate (down to 18%), increased dwell time (up to 40%) and a huge increase in users. It’s early days, but we’re expecting big things from 2014 and beyond.View