7 Ways of Looking at AOL.com’s Redesign

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AOL.com, which announced last month that it had been acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion, unveiled a redesigned website today that reflects new media trends.

The newly designed site emphasizes video, social and mobile, because that is where the money and growth potential is these days. It is set up for people who come to the site through the side door that is social rather than the homepage, and each item is set up to be a standalone “module,” the better for sharing and reflecting what’s trending. Oh, and video!

Having trouble envisioning it? Well, here’s a list of ways to think about the redesign that AOL.com President Maureen Sullivan compared it to when we met with her last week:

  1. “Think of AOL.com more like a TV network than a traditional media site. Because we are programming a number of different content brands, we really feel like we can curate the content that matters most to people.”
  2. “People want their social media feeds to be curated for them. I think of it like anyone can arrange flowers, but we still call a florist.”
  3. Arrangement and curation matters when redesigning a site. “There’s a reason we like going into a J. Crew more than a T.J. Maxx.”
  4. “Think of AOL.com like a spotlight that’s roving around.”
  5. AOL.com is partnering with brands (some owned by AOL.com like Huffington Post and TechCrunch), some not (like Conde Nast and Time Inc.) and some “brands” like YouTube and Vine stars. “A lot of them are people with big followings who we think they are ready for primetime. So think of AOL.com like primetime.”
  6. “Think about AOL.com like an open eco system. That’s part of what this module system is. Modules can change.”
  7. On AOL.com’s demographics: “We’ve been joking that we are like Benjamin Button: we are getting younger, we are getting richer and we’re more female.”
7 Ways of Looking at AOL.com’s Redesign