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Xtra Xtra: How FTS Brought in the New Year


While you were sipping bubbly and counting down the last moments of 2009, we brought in the New Year with what else but the launch of a new website. went live January 1st and is already getting “dugg” by users. We designed a personalized news site for Xtra Xtra that allows users to search for and share personal news and professional milestones with friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc..

The project involved a complete design overhaul of the existing site. We restructured the entire site to improve upon elements of functionality and navigability. The client provided market research and focus group feedback that allowed our designers to create a user-friendly, aesthetically appealing interface. Usability is always a central consideration when we implement new designs, but it’s especially paramount to the success of a website (like Xtra Xtra,) that’s inherently based on personalization and user interaction.

New features were added to make the site Xtra Xtra customized (…clever, I know). A geo-location element was added to detect the user’s location and provide highly-localized, relevant content—much like Citysearch does. A Facebook Connect feature was added that allows users to login via their Facebook account, and distribute site content around the web; for example, you can comment on another user’s “milestone” and it will stream directly to their Facebook account feed.

Lots of other changes, improvements, and revisions went down during this three month project schedule.  But let’s skip to the happy ending– check out the before/after shots below:

Before                                                                                            After

Author Alex Stetson

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