WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2010)–National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) today introduced its newly redesigned www.nationalgeographic.com Web site, delivering a streamlined consumer experience with easy one-click access to National Geographic’s one-of-a-kind, award-winning content. The revamped site, developed in-house, is built on an open-source platform that supports an iterative design and content publishing environment. The site features enhanced e-commerce promotions and increased advertiser integration.
Cementing National Geographic’s reputation as the leader in visual storytelling, Nationalgeographic.com’s new aesthetic balances design and usability to provide larger views of National Geographic’s renowned photo collection, easier access to daily news and video from National Geographic’s award-winning film library, increased image and graphic content, and social bookmarking tools. A more user-friendly interface and enhanced navigation, extensively tested with consumers to increase visitor engagement, focuses on National Geographic’s core leadership categories: Photography, Animals, Environment, Adventure, Travel, Video and Daily News.
“For 120 years National Geographic has reported the most compelling stories, photos, films and interactives in an effort to inspire people to care about the planet,” said Rob Covey, NGDM’s senior vice president of content development and design. “Maximizing National Geographic’s unparalleled editorial resources, this new Web site is part of the Society’s broader commitment to provide engaging digital experiences to our consumers across easy-to-use, robust platforms.”
Built from the ground up by an in-house development team — based on the open-source framework Django, known for emphasizing reusability and “pluggability” of components and the rapid development of complex Web sites — the new technology platform provides a more nimble publishing environment and the opportunity to leverage the large open-source development community. By employing this technology, National Geographic has laid the foundation for future enhancements, including increased community and social media participation.
“It doesn’t make sense for Nationalgeographic.com to reinvent the wheel every time we want to deploy new functionality. Now we have a platform that our developers can use to more easily integrate collaboratively built tools,” said Stavros Hilaris, NGDM’s vice president and chief technology officer. “Nationalgeographic.com looks forward to engaging open-source developers over the next year with development challenges and other opportunities.”
The new design and technology platform highlights National Geographic’s commitment to creating innovative, consumer-focused experiences. New features and functionality will continue to be rolled out over the coming weeks and months, including a world-class video player that showcases award-winning programming from National Geographic Television and the National Geographic magazine group. Continued emphasis will be placed on integrating more social and community features, such as single sign-on and OpenID integration, and further connectivity to leading social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and others).
Nationalgeographic.com is the award-winning Web site of the National Geographic Society and attracts 13 million unique visitors a month. Nationalgeographic.com is the leader in visual storytelling, leveraging the Society’s rich photography and video to deliver engaging experiences across photography, travel, animals, environment, video and daily science news. Nationalgeographic.com’s network includes thegreenguide.com and scienceblogs.com.