Content Publishing Platform


In 2014, I led the UX and UI design of the new content publishing platform

I was keen to ensure the experience of Virgin's new content publishing platform,, matched the expectations of Richard Branson and his followers. My responsibilities spanned persona work, IA and journeying, wireframes and UI design. I designed the new around the needs of three key audiences: those interested in travel, music, and entrepreneurialism.



Personas and key top-level ‘red-routes’

I sketched a number of high-level “rough” IAs and journeys. A number of these early prototypes were turned into reverse-tree tests that were then used to validate assumptions. The feedback from these tests in-turn informed the broader sitemap, as well as logical user red-routing that connected audiences with content.


The first sitemap was turned into an unmoderated tree-test

Virgin "workflow" personas & high-level user journeys


Initial journeys and information architecture

For the first round of journeys & preliminary information architecture, I took to the whitewalls, Sharpies and Post-Its in-hand


Initial Virgin,.com wireframes

The shared space; most of the alignment between team and stakeholders happened in here

More sketched wireframes


Higher-fidelity IA & user routing


A version of the new menu that had validated positively through panel-based user testing

Responsive design approach: how content expanded/collapsed depending on the view-size of the user agent or device

The final sitemap. The sitemap also shows user "red routes" (the user's primary journey/s through to important content)


Validated concepts moved from discovery to delivery

Designing lean allowed me to put concepts in front of Virgin's user focus panel for quick testing and high-level actionable feedback. Working in this way meant the team quickly determined which ideas worked - and which ones didn't. The concepts that resonated with end-audiences were polished and recorded in to a high-fidelity format, usually for stakeholder presentational purposes with stakeholders over at Virgin.

Once stakeholder buy-in had been achieved, and after the initial IA had been validated, I began fleshing out the higher-fidelity layout and overall design of the new for the delivery stage of the project.


Article blocks/creation steps

Virgin main menu

Virgin companies menu

The new homepage

Richard Branson's landing page

The company page

Published article page

Virgin Unite page

Virgin Music page


Richard Branson visits the team


Richard visited to say thank you for all the hard work

As it’s Richard, he’s naturally very smiley :)

We made Richard tea

Richard meets the entire team

Fully endorsed - Virgin wireframes are officially signed off

Final UI design


Mobile layout


Desktop layout



The result

More users engaging with more content, for longer

After launch, more than 1.9 million unique visitors viewed content on every month. Article views increased by 32% per visit. Audiences also spent double the time consuming content – a 107% total uplift in time-on-site.


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