Orion Magazine

Website Redesign

We designed a beautiful new, mobile-responsive WordPress site rich in visual enhancements: beautiful hero images, custom fonts crafted to match the print magazine, and custom run-in text formatting to enhance the beauty and readability of articles.

Systems Used

Services Provided

Client Sectors

Date Completed

  • December 2014

Orion Magazine focuses on journalism, literature, and art at the intersection of social, environmental, and cultural issues. This longstanding and deeply respected publication is known for its beautiful print magazines, rich with poetry, prose, and photography. The magazine’s website, however, didn’t live up to its beautiful paper counterpart: the antiquated Expression Engine site didn’t encourage leisurely reading, failed to promote subscriptions and donations, and it wasn’t even a little bit mobile friendly.

We designed a beautiful new, mobile-responsive WordPress site rich in visual enhancements: beautiful hero images, custom fonts crafted to match the print magazine, and custom run-in text formatting to enhance the beauty and readability of articles.

The widgetized navigation menu we built includes a rich fly-out menu to accomodate the “Read” menu item, which helps readers drill down to the parts of Orion they’re most interested in.

To help show off the magazine’s current issue, we built a custom template utilizing infinite scroll to mimic the experience of reading the magazine in real life.

We were very happy with the site architecture and design, but we need to make sure that Orion’s readers would also be happy with the big change, so we ran two usability studies: a card sorting exercise to help us restructure the large amounts of content in the new site, and a first impression click test to confirm that the new design made sense and was intuitive to readers.

Underneath the beautiful frontend is a workhorse of a backend that eases site maintenance and makes it easy for Orion staff to showcase the latest content in a modern, attractive manner. Six custom content types maximize editability, and create a memorable reading experience for the magazine’s many followers.