Lonely Planet: Featured Story Concept
The current state of featured stories on the platform lacks the visual impact necessary to captivate users and encourage engagement (below). The basic editorial layout fails to leverage the power of modern design aesthetics and interesting visual treatments. The goal of this concept was to create a more captivating and visually appealing experience that will increase engagement, decrease bounce rate, encourage sharing, and entice visitors to return.
Designing the concepts
Above, on the left, shows the current template the Editorial team uses for their stories. And on the right is my concept that elevates the featured story and makes it more visually enticing. The centerpiece of my solution is the integration of large and immersive photography, allowing users to truly immerse themselves in the story. The captivating images will be complemented by bold, punched-out typography, which will add a touch of beauty and draw the user's eye to the content.
In addition to static elements, I added an inline video that seamlessly blend with the content, creating a dynamic and engaging storytelling experience. We find that users often enjoy varying forms of media on a page like this. At the end of the story, I included a section that features both the author and the photographer since both contribute to the story and ultimately helps connect the audience to the creators.
This case study highlights the need to spend more time on Lonely Planet's flagship, evergreen featured stories as the design better supports the amazing stories the authors are wanting to tell. Although the team decided to invest resources on some other short-term projects, the concept provided inspiration and kicked off discussions on resourcing this initiative at a later time.