Back to the Future (of Content)

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h1The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

Doc Brown

As a species, we've become obsessed with what's next. From fashion to entertainment to technology, we're constantly looking ahead to the next big thing, leaving a trail of fashion road kill, rehabbing pop stars, and obsolete electronics in our wake.

It's no surprise then that in the heat of this progress-oriented delirium we've lost sight of a few things. When viewed through the lens of digital publishing, the push for faster speeds, greater access, multiple screens and even more impressions has resulted in a disregard for the art of editorial design and an advertising experience that respects the content. The industry has suffered for it.

With the launch of our Clean Campaign four months ago, we set out to rectify this fundamental problem by creating quality, digital media experiences that balance content and advertising in a way that brings value to the entire ecosystem: creator, advertiser and consumer. That's why we were thrilled this week to unveil our first attempt at reinventing digital publishing with the redesign of Remodelista. With this project we've combined the best of what our print publishing forebears had to offer - beautiful editorial design, large layouts, consumable advertising - with the rich, interactive power of the Web.

In many ways, what we've done feels like a great step forward in righting the many wrongs the course of digital publishing has taken. But a lot of what we've done is simply trying to catch up to the long established principles of print media.

Much of our work involves mimicry. We can now make far more effective use of typography, photography and page layout. Web technology has given us access to date, media and knowledge beyond comparison, and yet we still have to wrestle archaic presentation tools. The advent of HTML5 and the quickened adoption of modern browsers have finally started to level the playing field.

But we could hardly consider what we're doing innovation if all we did was catch up to print or even simply focus on what we can do with the technology at our disposal. That is why we spent so much time creating highly functional yet aesthetically pleasing discovery tools and ensuring that Remodelista's quality content experience remains consistent across devices.

This week marked some big steps forward on our quest to make the digital publishing experience better for everyone. It's going to be a long process, but we're getting there - rewriting some rules, while iterating on others. It's fitting in a way to have Remodelista as one of our first properties to use these new principles. The site respects and incorporates the best of the old, while fully embracing the new. It's this ideal that helps us plot our path forward as we shape the future of digital media. And we've got a lot more of the future to show you - stay tuned for what's next.