The History Press has launched a new website that aims to put "mobile experience at the forefront" and to create and curate original content for its audience.
Designed by Bristol-based agency Vivid Content and developed by London-based August Media, the new site intends to become a “trusted source of history for a wide readership, with great content complementing an unrivalled catalogue of books to help readers discover more about the stories and subjects that interest them.”
The publishing house decided to change the focus of the website from e-commerce to content creation and curation in order to "engage more effectively and encourage exploration and discovery". The website also aims to be “topic led” and organised around the most popular subject areas, rather than imprints or internal categories. The website will feature and use and test a variety of content including videos, Q&As, long reads, short reads, galleries, lists and more to help determine what visitors like and when.
Laura Perehinec, strategic development director at The History Press, told The Bookseller: “We decided to create a site based around content, which encourages visitors to spend time exploring and finding out more about the stories and topics that interest them. We have a great advantage in having such a broad range of titles around one core area as we can provide further reading opportunities for different audiences on a diverse set of subjects. We felt a new approach was needed that was based around building engagement and trust first rather than just displaying, in effect, a catalogue.”
The design is accompanied by a brand refresh that includes updated typography and logo to reflect a clean and consistent visual identity across print and digital channels.
The History Press’ authors are “experts in their fields” and will curate specific themes within the site, like the forthcoming Somme centenary. The first author-curated area will be on the Somme with Peter Doyle (the author of The First World War in 100 Objects, Fritz and Tommy and the forthcoming Kitchener’s Mob) and Alexandra Churchill (author of Somme).
Books will still be sold on the site through affiliate links to enable consumers to buy from a recognised retailer.
Perehinec said that mobile was an area the press was looking to develop. She said: “The old site was not created with responsive design in mind so provided a poor user experience on mobile and tablet. With searches and traffic on mobile increasing year-on-year, this needed to be remedied.”
Perehinec added that the project has been "unifying" for the wider team and gives them the opportunity to be "more inventive about the ways in which they engage their audiences."
She said: "The launch is very much just the beginning and we welcome feedback to help inform the site’s evolution.”