Digital Design & Strategy
Glossi Mag is an online publication by Matte PR, a LGBTQ+ and woman-owned communications firm started by Heidi Ruggier based in Toronto. The magazine covers a wide range of topics ranging from the arts, culture, fashion, and design.
As we were updating Matte PR’s website, it was a good opportunity to do the same for Glossi Mag’s website. Since its launch six years ago, technical upgrades, innovations, and design trends have changed and surpassed what was feasible on the original website. There was a need for a new website that was not only fresh and new, but robust and versatile enough for the firm to run smoothly without hiccups and technical limitations.
The client searched for a new theme for the site and found Zermatt, a contemporary multi-concept agency theme. It comes with several different layouts and functionalities to showcase portfolio and run a blog. The theme not only fits the need and feel of the firm, but also for Glossi Mag. We ended up using the theme to update both sites, since the theme provides multiple layouts for different styles and focus.
We used the demo content from the theme as the foundation and templates of the new website. From there, we made significant edits by adding custom CSS and updating the theme settings with the firm’s branding styles. The theme is very minimal, allowing the existing website content like the portfolio and the achievements of the firm to speak for themselves.
Like the Matte PR website, a main challenge of the project was importing all the content from the live website to the staging environment where the new site was built. As an online publication, Glossi Mag has significantly more content than the Matte PR site, including over a hundred articles. It was very important to ensure everything was migrated smoothly without errors, especially since there are many articles with links, images, and videos.
Another challenge was some of the limitations posed by the theme. The front page features different categories of articles showcased in grids and sliders, sometimes with custom thumbnail aspect ratios and dimensions. Like the Matte PR site, we had to ensure all posts generate the same set of thumbnails and image dimensions. Another limit of the theme is the slider cannot skip posts or offset posts. We circumvent this issue by using custom CSS to hide some of the posts based on specific dating or order criteria.
Compared to the Matte PR iste, this website required significantly more work and customization. We not only took into consideration the user’s need to browse, search, and read the articles, but the need of the staff at Matte PR and writers to easily create and publish articles by themselves without requiring extensive technical training or know-how. Since we added more custom layouts and design, we also have to add more custom responsive CSS to complement the theme’s own responsiveness.
Like Matte PR, the build process for Glossi Mag was very efficient as we used planning documentation to form a list of objectives, requests, reviews, and milestones. While iteratively building the new website, we also took the opportunity to lighten the website load by removing older, unused files like images and videos, and replacing them with optimized files. All of this was done to ensure the website hosted on our server will perform and load quicker than its older, slower predecessor.
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