The challenge

The Official Charts play a central role in British popular culture. They are responsible for the collection and relaying of the weekly singles and album charts to the industry and the public. When its website began to gain increasing popularity, The Official Charts Company took the decision to strengthen its brand presence and generate new revenue streams from digital channels.

Draw was asked to design and develop an exciting, adaptable, editorial website that celebrated the success and legacy of our music charts, while giving visitors access to more than 62 years of facts, statistics and information, and In a way that is fun, authoritative, passionate and relevant.

Approach

We identified three key audiences – active users, chart analysts and passive. Across all audiences, we determined that improved mobile and tablet experience would be key to continuing to grow the agreed KPIs: increase unique monthly visits, improve mobile and tablet experience, decrease bounce rate, increase dwell time, increase social engagement.

The site typically experiences a peak of traffic on Sunday evenings (as the charts are announced on Radio 1) so we planned to not only boost the robustness of the site and servers but to also create content and structure that makes the site a great home for content and audiences 24/7, not just on chart night.

The process was a collaborative one that explored the way people search for information about their favourite artists, types of charts and periods in time. Our challenge was that, although the database is huge - 35,000 charts and 16,000 dedicated artist hubs, people interrogate it in a very granular way.

Work

We planned and constructed the site using the BEM (block, element, modifier) methodology, which allowed us to rapidly prototype pages and simply create new pages using existing modular elements.

This allowed creation of a simple navigation system that would work equally well on desktop or touchscreen devices. We also created a clean, bold grid that allowed for clearer ad spaces, bigger images, less clutter and generally a cleaner framework for content including news, archive, gallery functionality, voting / poll functionality and improved chart pages.

Although the design and development of The Official Charts website produced amazing results, an even greater technical achievement is under the hood. We accepted that the historical data spans decades, but the collation and cleansing of this data proved a much bigger task than we anticipated. Add to this integration with services such as Amazon, Spotify and iTunes - for playing and purchase - along with an extensive data management studio and you'll understand why we now have a complete solution that we are very proud of.

The site launched on 18th February 2015. Within 30 minutes of pressing the big go-live button, Twitter exploded with praise for the new site. Within an hour and a half, people of the internet were using the new site to create Twitter-based music knowledge games...What a result! Ask us and we'll show you some of the tweets if you like.

From The Official Charts Company

When we started the process of rebuilding OfficialCharts.com, our aim was to create a site with a clean, fresh new look, offering exciting new functionality (including building the ultimate UK chart data service on the web) and ultimate flexibility to evolve moving forward – so we could continue to build on our 2m-visitors-a-month audience. There is no doubt that the Draw team have delivered this in spades. Their collaborative approach, continual determination to seek the most creative solutions (not just defer to the simplest option) and tireless round-the-clock commitment has delivered a site which looks stunning and delivers a seemingly endless source of news, charts and data. Presenting much of this in ways our audience has never experienced before, it is not overstating matters to suggest it sets a new standard for delivery of music nostalgia and the news on the weekly pop chart battle.

20%
Increase in page visits
26%
Increase in dwell time

If you'd like to see how we could help you please call
Steve Blackman on +44 20 7407 7666.