© 2019 Kade O'Connor

VergeCampus.com Redesign

Background

By late 2018, the Verge Campus website was in need of a major update. An online,  student-run lifestyle publication since 2012, there were now over 12k posts and about 400+ GBs of content. Site structure had also bloated into unmaintained sections that added little value and detracted attention from successful sections. We also wanted to better spotlight the student contributors, promote the new Deals app, and give the new magazine a home.  I mocked up new layouts for the Home, Chapters, and Listings pages.

Design

I had already begun incorporating a new, 3D 'Verge' logo with a bright, energetic palette into the customer-facing company brand (Verge Campus Group, LLC) and the recently released Verge Campus Deals app. Adding teal to the existing pink and purple, and using more festive shapes sought to invigorate the minimal simplicity of the previous layout. I also wanted to combine content from separate pages to reduce click fatigue while also cutting down on overall page clutter.

On the Home page, I had the idea for a top contributors ranking in the sidebar to not only better promote the writers, but also to instill more competition amongst themselves. The Resource pages listed near the bottom get a lot of traffic, so I wanted them easier to find, in a permanent location.

The original Chapter page layout simply collected posts tagged by that school, with a sidebar link to the team. As a user, there was little reason to return to this home base after your first visit. We really wanted to concentrate traffic to the chapter-specific pages for ad sales reasons. So, I hoped to emphasize these spaces as the place for chapters to promote themselves from. Giving Chapters to ability to create their own events in the sidebar could facilitate publication meetings as well as possible ambassador campaigns. I moved the team roster from a separate page to midway down this page, with the ability to post open roles students could apply to. (Our job board section was bloated with "job" postings for about 4 roles each amongst 6,000~ schools...)
The local edition of the magazine would also be embedded here.

The Listing layout mainly needed to be slimmed down to better reflect the content we actually received from our customers. I also brought all the contact information higher and made the phone number a prominent button.

Retrospective

Unfortunately, the company fell apart in January 2019, so I never had the chance to delve deeper, let alone implement, the new designs. Because of the obvious financial troubles of the time, it seemed unlikely that a professional developer would be hired and very likely that I myself would be tasked with the site rebuild.