Three Things I Love About Our New Website Design

An illustration of Bitch Media headquarters on a busy street.

Someone recently told me that the thing they love about the design of Bitch magazine is that it makes complex content easy to digest and fun to read. All through this site redesign—as we were grappling with never-ending questions about structure, design, and function—I had that comment running through my head. The result? We made it simple and FUN to look around the site.

First, I’m excited about reading on this site. Through color, typeface, size, and white space, we’ve made it more readable on screen (I should say on screens, since we made lots of decisions to optimize all of these elements to work well on whatever device you are using). We’ve simplified, then added in new features—adjusted spacing at every size, made bigger type and bigger images—and streamlined again.

A laptop with a speech bubble containing emblems of the many pop culture topics we cover.

Our content is organized, contextualized, and designed to be more easily explored than ever before. Our home page is designed to give you many ways to dig in. The main menu is clearly organized by topic, so that if you’re a long-time friend of Bitch or a new visitor, you can find your way. If you look a little closer, you’ll see a secondary list of “hot topics” below the main menu (if you’re reading on larger screens) that gives you a few more specific callouts that are interesting to us at any given moment. Looking for the latest articles?  Just scroll down the homepage—you’ll find exactly what you’re after. 

At first glance, you’ll see a mix of short article teasers, bite-sized images, and quotes. As you read on, you’ll find articles recommended within other articles, and opportunities to click through to related topics or articles by the same author. We’ve completely rethought our logic in how we organized magazine articles, original online content, and audio (like mixtapes and podcasts): rather than organizing by medium, we’ve organized by interest. Searching for info on sexism in Hollywood? Good news, you’ll find several articles, a few podcasts, and maybe even a mixtape that all answer the call.

A screenshot of the website in 2007, 2014, and the new site.

Look how we've changed! Above are screenshots of the website since 2007.

It looks and feels like Bitch. The look of the site fits better with the design of the print magazine. Font nerds may notice that I chose typefaces that match what we use in the magazine, with a little twist to be more readable on screen instead of paper. We can give you splashier new content: bigger images, infographics, and comics. The work of our writers and visual contributors is featured more prominently, which is an integral part of our mission and values. The best part is that as we work with the site more, you’ll see it really shine. The print and web designs will evolve side-by-side, each inspired by the other, celebrating both formats. They will reflect each other but each with their own specific quirks to celebrate, sisters in content and in the design.

bitch magazine and devices dancing

On Monday evening, as we were getting ready to launch, one of my favorite comics anthologists / super journalists posted a pic of a vintage Bitch, issue #2, with the tweet “You’ve come a long way!” With the launch our new site this week, the timing could not have been more perfect. We’re so proud to present you with the newest version of Bitch Media. I hope you’ll have fun exploring!

Our team had many significant contributors, including development by Congruity Works. My partner in crime on design and UX was Laura Jones Martinez. Thanks also to former interns Brianna Miller, Michelle Leigh, and Katja Gantz, as well as our graphic designer Alexx Dovelin, who supported me throughout the design process.

Read letters about the redesign from Bitch Media Executive Director Julie Falk and Creative and Editorial Director Andi Zeisler and from Online Editor Sarah Mirk

Kristin Rogers Brown
by Kristin Rogers Brown
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Kristin Rogers Brown is Bitch Media's Art Director. When not designing Bitch, you can find her teaching illustration and design at PNCA, trying to keep her dog from eating "street food", and doing interpretive dance to the Law & Order opening theme. Follow her on twitter.

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