2012 Best of the Web Awards: Redesign


Essence Communications: Essence.com (consumer winner)

Staying true to its name, the popular destination for African-American women found the “essence” of its audience’s attraction to Essence.com in this major overhaul in June 2011. From a blogroll format to a sculpted site that offers the user multiple entry points, Essence.com has added applications like the Makeover Magic and Hot Hair tool to turn it into a beauty platform. The new design highlights the key Essence franchises within a layout that makes each easy to identify at a glance. The visually oriented design uses imagery to index content. This was a well-planned relaunch that gave the new site a full-on media star treatment, with appearances online from guest editors Kelly Rowlands and Iman and the Hottest Black Music Superstar on Facebook contest. The site turned itself from a news feed into a resource that embodied the essence of Essence.

Questex Media Group: Nightclub.com (b2b winner)

When you publish for the bar management, club, resort and nightlife industries, there are certain expectations that your Web destination should not put the patrons to sleep with a typical templated b2b look. Nightclub & Bar Media Group got that, and the new site has a distinct look and feel. A rotator block fills the main display with feature stories, flanked by breaking news and leading to video assets on the front page. Living up to its Nightclub.com URL, the site is colorful and visually engaging when you come in the door. It complements industry content with cocktail recipes and an interactive poll, giving the joint a jazzy, friendly feel. Drop-down menus drill into vertical topics and resources more precisely front page without bogging things down with detail. Patrons seem to like the new place, as Nightclub.com’s monthly unique visitors rose from a former average of 43,000 to new high months that pass 52,000. Cheers.

Honorable Mentions:

  • American Media, Inc.: Fitpregnancy.com
  • CNN: CNN Money
  • Forbes: Forbes.com 
  • Women’s Health: WomensHealthMag.com

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