Raising the bar to new heights with an iconic partnership.

Say hello to National Geographic’s new site.

In lockstep with National Geographic’s internal teams from the very start, we transformed their site and set the course for what’s next. As we strategized and designed, we prototyped and tested. So every decision, and every page, was gleaned through true human insights and user testing. We brainstormed, sketched, debated, designed, and built side-by-side in true collaboration. What better way to celebrate the brand’s 130th birthday, than do it together.

What we did

Strategy / User Testing / UX Design / Art Direction / HTML Prototyping

Webby Awards 2019

This project was nominated for a Webby Award in the Best User Experience (desktop) category.

Feels like home.

Our journey began with National Geographic’s most highly trafficked place — the article page. With millions of people coming to the site from social, we optimized this landing spot for the highest level of engagement and approached it like a mini homepage.

We thoughtfully created a feed-like experience with a never-ending well of stunning content to explore. We smartly integrated interstitial ads at unobtrusive moments and truncated content for enhanced recirculation. At every step, we tested our theories and implemented our learnings. Page depth results increased dramatically because we designed an awe-inspiring experience for mobile that let the stories shine through.

Categorically beautiful.

Next, we designed the highly flexible, immersive hubs for every category — from Science & Innovation, to Animals & Wildlife. These hub pages needed to constantly evolve as content changed day-to-day. They also needed to give way to sponsored opportunities. We created customized spaces for sponsorships, so that partnerships felt consistent and beautiful, telling their own visual story. Today, with this flexible framework, internal teams can execute these custom pages with agility and ease.

Curated Hub
Main Vertical Hub

Worth returning to.

The homepage had the most stakeholders, the most sub-brands, and the most anticipation. It was important for this page to feel as big and beautiful as the world of National Geographic — a portal into a universe of never-ending exploration that was always changing. We brought it all together, and collaborated closely with internal teams to align on every different business, content, and philanthropic initiative. We worked together to achieve a destination people wanted to return to, again and again.

“Working with Kettle was not like having a client/supplier relationship — it was reminiscent of being part of a great project team back during my time at Cambridge University where like-minded students came together to tackle a problem with a shared vision, passion and a desire to win!”
Marcus East Chief Technology Officer, National Geographic

A modern style.

We took National Geographic’s existing assets and beautifully brought them to life for the digital landscape. We modernized the iconic elements of the brand, and made space for their world-renowned photography to take center stage. Now, there is a scalable, modern visual system that lives as a toolkit, and has been put to use by internal teams across the business to tell the most ambitious digital stories out there.

And beyond.

We’re continuing to reimagine National Geographic’s digital possibilities. More recently, we’ve collaborated on the redesign of the publisher’s main iOS app, which was also nominated for a Webby Award in 2019.

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