Bold design and innovative technology for a leading publisher

HarperCollins is one of the world’s leading English-language publishers. They maintain several websites each relevant to a specific publishing branch. One of their most popular and recognized sites is their Children’s site. When it came time to redesign their Children’s site, Harper drafted an RFP and put it out to several design agencies. We put a great deal of thought into our response to the RFP and won the project.

One of the major challenges of this site was that we had to create a design that appealed to multiple target audiences including children, parents and teachers/librarians. The three target audience’s would each have a sub-site contained within the children’s site. The branding of the overall children’s site needed to be consistent throughout but be adaptable for each audience.

Our solution was to create a design that was simplified and engaging for the children’s version having the interface appear sketchy and child like and then creating an interface that was cleaner for the two adult audience’s. The consistent branding ensured a cohesive experience for all the users.

Counterspace worked with Sage Webworks, our primary technology partner, and Harper’s internal technology team to completely overhaul and create a new custom CMS solution for the Children’s website. The solution was to create a horizontal slider to display books on the homepage. This was a groundbreaking use of technology at the time. To implement this we had to create a flash application that could pull the ISBN codes from an external data base into the flash application.

The redesign of increased traffic, engaged users and became a catalyst for the redesign for many other HarperCollins websites. Some of the additional HarperCollins sites that counterspace redesigned include HarperTeen, HarperTeen FanLit and HarperCollins Avon Romance.

This project will always remain a highlight in counterspace history. Upon launch, the site received industry wide recognition and as a direct result increased our revenues and we’ll never forget it.

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