Edited highlights from more than 5 years as lead producer on the AOL UK portals team
1. AOL portal home page – Live 8 and beyond
Redesign and relaunch aol.co.uk home page to re-position the portal following AOL’s Live 8 exposure.
- Begin to transition the portal towards a unified member/ non-member experience.
- Balance the requirements of editorial, sales and marketing stakeholders.
- Reflect UK brand identity whilst conforming to global brand guidelines.
- Reconcile local and international portal product strategy expectations.
- Maximise short-term Live 8 exposure within a sustainable, long-term solution.
- A single shared member/ non-member page architecture.
- Intelligent, dynamic page elements to target member/non-member audiences.
- Flexible, high impact content programming space.
- UK branding and content within recognisable US template.
- Large new multimedia UAC ad formats accommodated.
- Renewed focus on core communications products.
- Embedded module for monetised, task-orientated, searchable content.
- Full CSS implementation for style and layout.
- W3C Accessibility compliant.
2. Celebrity Love Match
Devise a new interactive content feature for use across AOL channels.
- A game of matching pairs using DHTML drag-and-drop interactions.
- Authored using Macromedia Coursebuilder software with adapted logic and feedback.
- Re-usable in a variety of situations with minimal production costs.
- Very popular with AOL members.
- Adopted by several AOL channels, including Entertainment, Motoring and Lifestyle.
3. James Bond 007 Game
Create an entertaining game to accompany a micro-site dedicated to the latest Bond film premiere.
- A series of mission-style objectives to identify Secret Service potential.
- Incorporated a number of DHTML interactions including drag-and-drop, sliders, text-entry and multiple choice.
- Final assessment feedback with times and scores for each objective to encourage competition and repeat visits.
4. AOL 9 Launch
Support marketing efforts to promote release of AOL 9.0 client software and new access product suite. Update site in line with new global style guide.
- Maximise marketing home page real-estate without alienating existing AOL members and other interests within the business.
- Showcase exclusive broadband content to users on a mixture of existing connection types.
- A dynamic home page to serve differentiated member and non-member views from a single shared domain space.
- Distinct pathing for separate audiences.
- First European portal implementation of AOL Screen Name Service for member authentication and recognition.
- Complete overhaul of marketing area with new structure, copy and branding.
- A comprehensive Flash showcase demo tailored to narrowband and broadband connection speeds.
- Satisfied both acquisition marketing and member service interests within the business.
- Served the needs of prospective members with minimal disruption to existing members.
- Launched on time to coincide with TV and press promotions.
5. AOL Advent Calendar
Reinvent AOL’s annual Advent Calendar prize give-away.
- Take a tired old HTML format and bring it alive.
- Deliver a flexible, easy production process within a dynamic template-driven design.
- Incorporate non-intrusive commercial opportunities.
- A simple, fun, interactive Flash-based design.
- 24 short festive animations revealed progressively throughout the run-up to Christmas.
- ‘Provided by’ partner sponsorships embedded in every archived movie and prize landing page.
- Generated ~20K daily competition entries with regular Welcome Screen promotion.
- Ran on the AOL service in various iterations for more than 4 years.
- Made the sales team and their clients very happy during the festive period!
6. Halloween Haunted House
It’s Halloween – have some fun with it!
- An editorially driven micro-site using a haunted house analogy.
- Spooky DHTML effects galore: disembodied eyeballs track the mouse pointer; a ghostly apparition floats in and out of the page; assorted menacing kitchen implements levitate of their own accord.
- Much amusement had by all.
- AOL members liked it too!