The Problem

YCC is a Yale University-affiliated source for climate change journalism. The organization has a popular radio show and produces video stories, feature articles, interviews and more. The YCC team cited sites such as Grist as peers, and based on that YCC had a long way to go. Their site had been created with a plain WordPress theme, made little use of images, and offered an unmemorable experience.

IA & Information Design

I wanted to offer a way to let site authors prominently feature a mix of stories to reflect a variety of topics and media, and make better use of images to create more visual interest. I selected a Masonry scaffolding for the homepage, and lazy loading to keep browsing momentum and avoid pagination. Since YCC produces daily podcast but only periodic video and feature stories, we took advantage of WordPress' "sticky" option to keep selected stories at the top.

YAL-1478 YCC IA v4.2 Annotated-2

Visual Design

My original color palette was based on basic RGB values inspired by heat maps, but it evolved into a more subtle yet still punchy palette that includes green, purple and magenta. I used these colors to color-code their different story formats: audio, video and written pieces. The typefaces used are Roboto for headlines and PT Sans for body text.

YAL-1478 Comp-1-narrow
YAL-1478 Comps-2

Details, details

Our development team was able to make YCC's Libsyn player responsive, so it can be displayed from edge to edge of the layout. We also included tweetable callouts and a mobile-first off-canvas menu with tabs.

I also created a new visual brand for the site, and a type treatment for The Yale Center for Environmental Communication. The new YCC site launched in mid-April 2015.

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