A contemporary vision for Harvard’s official news source
From its origins as a 19th century events bulletin, the Harvard Gazette has evolved into an all-digital publication with a full staff of editors, writers, photographers, and videographers. Its mission has grown throughout that history too — Gazette stories now cover research and scholarship across the University, campus events, current events, and culture. It's a publication that serves as the nexus for a famously decentralized academic community while bringing its stories to an international audience of readers.
Harvard challenged us to reimagine the Gazette from the ground up as a modern digital publication: responsive, smart, and mobile-focused. We also gave Gazette editors a more powerful set of tools to unleash their creativity and expose the wealth of content available on the Gazette every day — from gallery modules, timelines, and custom article collections to color theming and multiple home page layouts.
Working closely with Harvard’s director of content strategy, we interviewed the editorial and digital teams, developed and prioritized key user stories, and quickly moved from design to prototyping to iterative production sprints. Check out Agile for Agencies? A Chat for a deeper dive into this process.
This project also required collaboration with Wordpress VIP, the Gazette’s all-in-one hosting, deployment, and security partner. Our engineers adapted our development schedule to accommodate a strict code review process while assisting with the migration and support of the over 23,000 (!) legacy articles published by the Gazette since 1997.
Our research and design explorations took inspiration from the Gazette archives to independent print magazines to modern data visualization applications. We think we landed on a logomark and visual language just right for modern-day Harvard — authoritative, accessible, and dynamic.
Finally, we helped Harvard explore new ways to reach audiences outside the standard 800-word article. This Instagram-like story design lets readers swipe through a series of cards with integrated text, photography, and video.
What We Did
- Content Strategy
- UX Design
- Front-end Development
- CMS Development