Crane.tv

Agency: Graph

The old Crane.tv website was struggling to cope with steadily increasing traffic, provided an inferior user experience, and publishing the growing volume of video content was difficult. Engine6 worked with Crane.tv to create a new interface that provides a seamless, cross-platform video experience. This was combined with a custom content management system that enables content editors to quickly encode, publish and distribute video content to the website as well as media partners such as the Washington Post and the Guardian

Background

Crane.tv report on culture and trends across art, design, fashion, food and travel. Offering a highly-curated mix of the established and emerging, they lift the curtain on the world’s trend-setters.

Challenge

The significant increase in site visitors and volume of content that crane.tv has experienced over the past few years meant that the site content management facility and site architecture was rapidly becoming obsolete.

The original website was launched in 2009 with an in-house content management system. While it allowed staff to publish content with little technical knowledge, it was not user-friendly or robust, and had become a production bottleneck.

In addition, the management of the existing website was restrictive as it had a single page template. The video content could not be accessed on mobile devices, and the overall user experience was becoming increasingly slow and unresponsive.

Solution

Working with the Crane.tv creative team, Engine6 implemented a new web publishing platform that provides full control over page layouts, allowing content authors to drag & drop elements on to the page. We then automated the video encoding process to reduce publication time and effort, added support for mobile devices, and redesigned the underlying web architecture to improve performance and provide a faster user experience.

Web publishing platform

The new content management platform provides Crane with a number of benefits:

  • Provides editorial teams with complete flexibility over page layout and the ability to create mixed-media layouts that contain videos, images, galleries, content, tweets and maps – such that content editors can control the size of each “tile” and create exclusive layouts for every page.
  • Automated video encoding (into multiple video formats, including 720p HD) with the encoding workflow integrated into the CMS makes quick and easy publishing.
  • Automatically crops images into different tile sizes, with smart image cropping based on the image content.
  • Automatically syndicates new content to partner websites, iincluding the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Video delivery

To allow users to easily view video content without leaving the page, we developed a custom inline video player that expands from within each “tile” to view each video.

  • Custom in-line video player (HTML) with content overlays providing social media sharing, and subtitles in multiple languages.
  • Supports desktop, mobile and tablet devices, with an engaging and high-quality user experience optimised for each device
  • Makes intelligent recommendations based on user viewing behaviour.

Result

The new website and publishing platform not only provide an engaging cross-platform user experience, but also make it easy for the editorial team to encode and publish video content and create custom page layouts.

The new Crane.tv website was launched in April 2013.