Al Jazeera America

UI, Visual Design

The design for Aljazeera America was an interesting project because the site design had to serve a dual purpose of balancing it’s editorial content as well as standing as the hub for the brand’s cable TV content. We achieved this by adding a blue bar below the header, a clear visual seperation that would display all TV related content while the main header would be the main navigation and display a dynamicly generated list of trending topics.

Despite all attempts to disuade the client from this design direction for the exact reason of the header clashing with blog branding it remains one of the most painful things I’ve had to design.
Designing the Header
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The design of the header was my absolute favorite part of this project. First off the design team had gotten approval to use Helvetica throughout the design of the entire site and the vision of the project was to design an experience that was incredibly clean and Swiss to reflect the integrity of the content and let the stories do the talking. Part of the strategy of a cleaner header is when a user was on one of the blog pages which have custom branding as the background. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Within days of launch, the team received a demand from a very flustered, previously uninvolved stakeholder that the header must now have an image as a background and wanted to see this mocked up in like thirty minutes “or else”. I vividly remember scrambling to rearrange layers in photoshop and add this rediculous background while the account director on the project and my creative director standing directly behind my chair the entire time chanting “hairs on your chest!” making this experience one of the most nerve racking experiences in my design carreer.

The Schedule Page
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While interacting with cable content the light design for the editorial content switches to a dark theme to make a clear distinction between the difference in content and make a better viewing experience for video content. Although our team was small and went through a lot of design revisions we did some really great work and it was super fun.

*Agency: Huge
Blake Wilton, Washington DC