Alma Media is a group of companies that focuses on digital services and publishing activities. In addition to news content, it also offers useful information on lifestyle, career and business development. Together in cooperation with Alma Regions we have renewed the advertising websites as well as the customer care websites of local and regional newspapers to further correspond to modern needs.
The modern era of digital ad sales and customer care
Alma Media in a nutshell
The ad sales websites needed a new direction so that all the benefits of advertising as well as the versatile product selection could be brought into the foreground with content and examples. On the customer care websites we wanted to direct users online for matters related to their subscriptions and irregularities in delivery.
We planned and created a total of 3 ad sales and 18 customer care websites for Alma Regions newspapers. Now advertising and target group-related information as well as subscriptions, loyalty benefits and reader questions are more easily accessible on all devices.
The renewed websites save a lot of time and resources for the administrators, and the experience is smoother for users as the information is more easily reachable.
The old digital ad sale websites definitely did not lack in content. In fact, there was so much of it that up-to-date content, as well as useful arguments, often got lost in the shuffle of technical facts. We wanted the new site to better present the wide range of products, stir the customer's interest to buy, and sell the product by introducing its benefits instead of its price.
We wanted to make the customer care websites as smooth to use as possible, for both the users and the administrators. We wanted to direct all the newspaper subscribers online to deal with matters related to their subscription, emphasize self-service and thus make the number of calls to customer service decrease. A clear navigation, as well as more structured content, were crucial elements when renewing the service. In terms of running nearly twenty customer care websites, the service architecture is of extreme importance as a slow and heavy user interface easily becomes a drain on the resources.
Customer care websites are, above all, channels for communications and business. This is why the most important aspects of the service renewal were to improve the user experience, responsivity, and especially the mobile interface. Additionally, the visual brand experience of both the ad sales and customer care websites was brought up to date.
Reshaping the ad sales websites started with content auditing, and the new structure was built based on it. Current themes and advertising success stories were brought into the spotlight to further aid the customer’s decision-making process. Additionally, content was restructured and divided based on if it contains one product or several, or if it is entirely new.
The visual appearance of the service was renewed as well, to better portray the brand of Alma and Alma Regions, but still remain unique and easily recognizable. Both the visual appearance and front-end were developed in design system Pattern Lab from the early stages, which then enabled us to easily start developing the customer care websites. The site itself was built on WordPress.
Next, we moved on to the customer care websites aimed at subscribers and potential new customers. Some important aspects of the renewal were to improve the process of informing customers of irregularities in delivery, add more lure to campaigns, clarify the structure of content and make website administration smoother.
The 18 customer care websites of Alma Regions form a coherent whole, and we wanted this to be aligned with both the ad sales websites as well as the directions we had received from Alma regarding the graphics. In this, we could make use of Pattern Lab and the work we had done with the ad sales websites. By imitating the typography and color scheme we maintained the similar outlook for both sites, and now each website offers a coherent, brand-loyal user experience. Our responsive design ensures that the desired experience is available on all devices.
The technical development of the customer care sites was done as a multi-vendor co-operation. Our partners built custom REST APIs for the backend integration, which our AngularJS web app uses. For the WordPress site, we created a custom theme for Alma Regions.
The benefits in the spotlight
Due to the website renewal, the ad sales websites now offer up-to-date and versatile content for potential advertisers regarding, for example, advertising success stories and reaching target groups through Alma channels. The product selection, instructions on how to use materials, as well as more information about buying are now more easily reachable.
Kati Paavilainen, Designer, Frantic
The scope and versatility of the website renewal made the project very challenging, but it was also a very productive and educational experience. Even though most of the project meetings were done through video calls, all communication and co-operation with the client went extremely well. We still work on the websites, and the latest development was the brand update.
- Analytics & business insight
- Service design
- Tech design
- User experience design
- Visual design
- Client and project management
- Pattern Lab