With such a long, storied history of televisual success, we at SPINX Digital set out to design a website that reflected the tradition and esteem of CBS while maintaining ease of access for site visitors to discover the shows they are most interested in.
Working within CBS’ database structure, we were able to automatically associate news and press releases with certain shows, allowing users to access current news
through the show’s detail page.
To kickoff our discovery meeting, we went through some exercises with the CBS leadership team to better understand their main site visitors and what information they are looking for on the CBSSI site. Knowing that their audience was predominantly interested in finding key information about the shows CBS distributes, we decided to take a simple yet highly affective approach to our UX strategy in order to support ease of use and information gathering.
CBS needed a lot of flexibility for the homepage hero section. They made it clear that they wanted to be able to manage all homepage hero content themselves and each hero image needed to be different. Some hero images were just an image, some images required the addition of the show’s logo, and some images required the show’s logo, a description of the show, and a button linking to that show’s detail page. The challenge here was determining how this content would layout over the hero image so that copy was legible and all components played nicely with one another or were able to be hidden depending on the approach CBS decided to take.
Knowing that CBS distributes a lot of television shows (about 150 shows in total), we wanted to make it very easy for users to sort and find the show they are looking for, so we added some genre filters to the top of the show listing page. This made it incredibly easy for users to find the show they are interested in or simply browse by category.
CBS was concerned about site security, so we decided to build the new site on Umbraco. This allowed us to create a custom site built with advanced security and a rigid, easily usable CMS. With Umbraco we were able to create custom fields and restrict what that administrator can and cannot edit, allowing them enough control to be able to add, remove, and edit content, but not enough control to potentially break the design.
Additionally, Umbraco includes a customizable blog allowing us to keep CBS’ news and media within the site allowing us to maintain the styles setout on the homepage and internal pages.
One additional benefit of using Umbraco is it allowed us to access CBS’ database of show related images, videos, and information and automatically pull that information onto show detail pages within the new website. Building the website this way allows for the administrator to edit or add a show to the database and for that show to automatically be added to the front-end of the website. Rather than adding information to the database, creating a new page on the website, and calling for that information, the entire process was automated once the administrator edited the database.
Once the site was tested and everything was working perfectly, the site was launched on a brand new server environment designed to adhere to CBS’ rigid security protocols and allow for various degrees of traffic from a very international audience.
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