Just over a year after launching, online shelter publication Domaine Home has given a major face-lift to its website and added several features to improve reader experience—on mobile devices in particular. As many as half of the site's readers seek Domaine mobile content, making it an important and evolving platform.
New features include an updated mobile site with easier navigation, a new “river” scrolling homepage format as opposed to a formerly static layout, scrolling slideshows, the option to browse by category to see what’s trending, featured videos and the option to read related content.
This reporter chatted with Creative Director Mat Sanders to learn more about the revamp and what’s coming down the pipeline for Domaine Home.
What inspired the redesign and why was it necessary?
When we launched the site in 2013, our goal was to provide a blank canvas that would allow the beautiful work of our industry's best designers and photographers to take center stage. As the site took off and we amassed an archive of thousands of images and stories over the last year and a half, we knew we had to give our readers a more streamlined opportunity to find inspiration and share the great content they would discover on Domaine.
Where do you see Domaine Home in the competitive marketplace?
We are about creation as much as we are about curation. While we pour a great deal of our resources into producing quality, original content, we simultaneously keep a sharp eye on what is trending elsewhere in print and digital media. Our readers return daily, not only because they love seeing our gorgeous shoots, projects and news, but because they know our incredible editorial team has sifted through the best of what's out there right now. At Domaine they know they can find the world's most stylish shelter content in one place.
What is now different about the magazine?
The most exciting change is that the site is now optimized for mobile viewing. Now it's easier than ever to discover inspiration on the go. The endless scroll on the homepage ensures readers never miss a story when they check the site each day. Also, we enhanced the way you will be able to explore and shop home tours as you now scroll vertically as opposed to clicking through slideshows. Never press a button to see the next image again!
What makes the Domaine Home different from other consumer shelter publications?
We were born out of a fashion site (whowhwatwear.com), so I like to think we arrive with a distinctly 'Vogueish' point of view compared to other magazines and websites. Our goal was to attract a new audience—to refresh the shelter space by making it more accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts. I think we've achieved this through a steady flow of daily content that is simultaneously shopable and relateable. When we first launched, I think you saw a great deal more fashion and celebrity-related content on Domaine vs. other publications, and I think it's no coincidence that we're now seeing some of the biggest titles in our industry following suit. People want it.
Are there any new sections/columns?
We are gearing up to launch a network of contributors for added content each week. Soon you will see more work and ideas from today's top designers and bloggers on a weekly basis.
How do interior designers engage with the site and what are they asking for/looking for?
The most rewarding thing about Domaine is the excitement and innovation I see from professionals within our industry. Gone are the days of holding onto the scouting shots of a finished project with fingers crossed hoping it gets selected by one of the coveted decor magazines. The smart designers know it's all about seeding themselves around the web. These designers are finishing their projects on a Monday, shooting it on Tuesday, transferring me the images on Wednesday, and by Friday their story is going viral and their name is being mentioned all over Twitter and Pinterest. Designers now have an vehicle for keeping their name bouncing around the web like a pinball machine. Clients aren't pulling tear sheets from magazines anymore, they are creating Pinterest boards. And the most cutting edge designers are seeing the effects of having their name attached to these digital images. (*Ahem* Have a project? Please show me! email@example.com).
Have you seen traffic increase since the website refresh?
We've seen a huge spike in traffic since the redesign, and it's really due to the way our readers engage with what inspires them. We launched with the idea that we wanted the content to be ridiculously easy to browse. Now it's ridiculously easy to share too.
What can we expect to see in future issues?
In the coming months, we will be introducing an exciting new feature that will allow readers to discover the latest trends, room by room. Stay tuned for more enhancements.