Welcome to the beta launch of the new Fast Company!
You may be wondering, why bother? The previous iteration of the FastCo network was groundbreaking at the time—when Co.Design won a National Magazine Award in 2011, it was not only for its editorial but its distinctive design, with super widescreen images and clean layouts. Readers loved it, but we saw limitations almost immediately.
This latest re-imagining of the FastCo network, still unfinished, is built on the realization that a modern website has to adapt and morph as tastes and technology change. This version of FastCompany.com was created with the expectation that it should never be finished.
Embracing that idea required changing not only technical changes, but our culture. It moves us from a system of big unveilings and rigid release cycles, to constant updates backed by testing and learning. It is a system where our entire team is empowered to improve our site. But first, we had to design a website that allowed us to function the way we should.
Our new, modular homepage exemplifies that organizational evolution. Over time, the blocks of content you see there will move, or be replaced with something entirely different. Goodbye to the concrete-poured homepage of the past. This one is Play Doh in the hands of our engineers and designers.
The article pages are more open and easier read. Our previous article pages were splintered among four versions—there was the long read, the short form, and magazine layouts and lists. The new article page is not only suited to mobile and tablet, but also backward compatible with our archive, thus unifying all of our editorial into one CMS.
This was a complex process, and it has many authors. Our own incredibly talented and dedicated team has designed and developed what you’re seeing now, and the agency Huge led our early design and UX explorations. It’s the most challenging and rewarding project that many of us have ever worked on.
There’s lots more to tell you about, including several new products unlike anything Fast Company has done before. But after eight months of heads-down work, it was time for your feedback, warts and all. It’s time to start building for you instead of us, and that’s why we decided to go public early.
–Noah Robischon, Florian Bachleda, Cliff Kuang, Tom Plunkett