After more than a year in development, we finally launched National Geographic Channel’s new website. Wow, what a ride. Originally, I wasn’t even on the team. I came on about a month later as “The Cleaner”, when the original Information Architect catastrophically failed.
Going over the site, I can still see some areas of wonkiness like the “on tonight belt” on the homepage truncating the names of the shows, making it totally useless. Also, the graphic for a “show that has no custom graphic” is not obviously generic. These will be fixed in the next several days.
The homepage itself is an interesting story. National Geographic Channel (NGC) is actually semi-independent of National Geographic, and a partner with Fox (and if you see the programming, it’s obvious). However, online, National Geographic is the “umbrella” brand, forcing the NGC homepage to live inside the shell of NationalGeographic.com. This makes it non-obvious as to which navigation will take you inside the NGC site, and which will take you back to a NG site. Once you’re in NGC however, the shell goes away, and is replaced by the global NG “hat”, which is much less intrusive.
Earlier: Air Necessities