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Remaking Our Website, And Our Company

Could you take a look at something for me?

Remaking Our Website, And Our Company
[Photo: Everett Collection via Shutterstock]

Welcome to the new Fast Company!

When we released the previous iteration of the FastCo network, it broke new ground—Co.Design won a National Magazine Award in 2011 not only for its editorial but its distinctive design, with super widescreen images and clean layouts. Readers loved it, and we like to think it helped inspire other sites too.

But a modern website has to adapt and morph as tastes and technology change. This latest re-imagining of the FastCo network was created with the expectation that it should never be finished, that the pace of iteration in our product has to be accelerated—and planned for.

Embracing that idea required not only technical changes but a culture shift. Whatever vestigial impulses we had about big unveilings and rigid release cycles had to be washed away, in favor of constant updates backed by testing and learning. We needed an internal system where our entire team is empowered to improve our site, in ways large and small. And we had to design a website, on the front end and the back end, that allowed us to function with that fluidity.

Our new, modular homepage exemplifies this organizational evolution. Because that homepage is, quite consciously, unfinished. The blocks of content you see there now will, over time, move or be replaced with something entirely different. Goodbye to the concrete-poured structure 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 (the long read, the short form, magazine layouts, lists). The new, unified article page is suited to mobile and tablet, and 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, while 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’s time for your feedback. Our content has always emphasized an ongoing conversation with readers, and we eagerly await your input about what we’ve created.

Fill out this survey, or send us feedback directly to redesign2016@fastcompany.com. Let us know what the future holds.

Noah Robischon, Florian Bachleda, Cliff Kuang, and Tom Plunkett

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