Case: New Scientist

New Scientist

A modern, crisp look & feel, and more focus on accomplishing KPI’s.

For the Dutch team of New Scientist, we set out to redesign the website. We treated it to a full make-over. We created a crisp, contemporary look & feel for the platform first. Next, we used several sprints to improve the content structure for positions in the search engine results. Simultaneously, we made it easier for subscribers to sign up for the newsletter. Also, we made it easier for editors to publish additional content types. And lastly, we added a feature to automatically add related content at the bottom of a page.

aMockup of book about Darwin's Angels

Would your website benefit from a make-over?

Set aside 15-20 minutes of your time for a mini-consult. We’ll go over your vision and goals, take part in some brainstorming, help you prioritize and decide upon the best next steps.

The project

We have been collaborating with the Dutch team of New Scientist since 2012. The Dutch version of this magazine launched in 2013. At that time, we were hired to develop the first version of their site. We have been in charge of the maintenance of the ever since.  Over the years, we have added and improved several features. Since 2013, however, website usage has evolved substantially. Currently, approximately 65% if the visitors uses a mobile device. Besides that, the needs of the target market changed, and the design became outdated. And so, it was time to modernize the design, and make it fully responsive.

Mockup of New Scientist homepage


The New Scientist team had compiled a list of needs. Among others, they were looking for:

  • a more contemporary appearance;
  • a fully responsive design;
  • being able to steer towards accomplishing online goals more intentionally (KPI’s).
Three mobile mockups of the New Scientist website

The approach

We started this project out with a list of needs, a fixed budget and a flexible deadline. Moreover, we knew there were many more ways to optimize the site than those that had been specified up to that point.

On that basis, we collaboratively decided to take an agile approach to this project. That way, we could determine for each sprint how to allocate the number of available hours to the prioritized tasks. We also decided to keep building upon the features that were already available.

During sprint 0, we mainly focused on creating a more fresh and contemporary look & feel. In the following sprints, we have been able to implement several improvements in the back-end. We have:

  • Improved the content structure, resulting in better positions in the search engine results
  • Added an additional feature that allows the editors to automatically add related content.

“Due to my own interest in history and astronomy I got very enthusiastic when I heard I could redesign the New Scientist website. And look at what we made! Now I’m so much more up to date about the latest news. Awesome!”

Mitchell Leber
Digital Designer

The solution

We developed a mobile-first content platform with a crisp, contemporary appearance for The 65% of users that currently use a mobile device to access the site, now enjoy a much improved  user experience.

The editorial team was treated to several improvements as well:

  • The user friendly interface allows editors to publish content quickly and easily.
  • The invitation to subscribe to the newsletter found a permanent home in the footer section. Editors no longer need to manually add this call to action to each individual page. And to showcase the newsletter even more, we recently added a pop-up screen too.
  • Editors now get to choose whether to hand-pick related content, or to get related content added automatically.
  • It has become much easier to add other types of content, such as book suggestions, events or sponsored items. For example, editors are now able to highlight items from the webshop wherever valuable and relevant.

The result

The new version prepares the Dutch team of New Scientist for a new era. This team doesn’t hesitate to set “scary hairy” goals and aims for a substantial growth in traffic. Our service & support team takes great care of the site. And since they’ll be in touch with the New Scientist team regularly, they’ll be able to respond to any new and altered needs quickly.

Article mockup of the New Scientist website

“Due to the size of the project I immediately had the feeling like working on the project and testing new techniques!”

Kevin Poot
Front-End Developer

“I got involved in this project half way through, and wasn’t always aware of what had been discussed before. I really enjoyed your zeal, even when I decided against what my predecessor had decided. And how you all got back to me with solutions quickly.”

Ans Hekkenberg
Editor New Scientist

Can we help you redesign your website or application?

Let’s meet over coffee. We’d love to hear all about your goals and to brainstorm ideas. We gladly gladly help you decide upon the most valuable next steps. And we would be pleased to welcome you in our office, or have this conversation over the phone.

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