The new site was developed for mobile first, and then optimised for other screens. The redesign follows much work in the background re-engineering Wired’s back-end in order to establish a solid foundation on which to build.
“With the site’s foundation now solid, our editorial, design, engineering, and product teams began to redesign for the most important screen in your life—your smartphone,” said Scott Dadich, Wired’s editor-in-chief.
Dadich refers in his post to the original launch of Hotwired, “the first site with original content created for the web… When I took over as editor-in-chief in 2012, we had an archive of more than 100,000 stories. That’s good!”
However, this was spread over “12 different databases, sections and home pages, tenuously connected virtual duct tape and chewing gum. The clean-up process—onerous and without a shred of glamour—took almost 15 months. But finally, last year, our engineers rolled out a newly unified site architecture built atop a single streamlined WordPress installation. And you didn’t notice a hiccup.”
According to Dadich, Wired opted for a card-based motif for “both its flexibility and configurability.” He likes “cards, because no matter the device, our homepage and section fronts are now immediately scannable, giving you a more accurate preview of the stories that define our world.
“Crucially, the new structure allows us to deploy WIRED’s signature bespoke fonts and improve the overall typographic fidelity of our layouts. This new WIRED is a more comfortable browsing and reading experience, its stories primed for sharing with friends and colleagues.
“But none of that razzle-dazzle matters if you can’t get our pages to load. So we made a significant investment in decluttering and streamlining our code…
“In most cases, the new site loads twice as fast. Our tech team stripped out over half of the browser calls, drastically reducing the need for the browser to repaint our web pages; as a result articles like the one you’re reading now load perceptibly faster. Image galleries and videos appear on demand.”