At the tail end of 2012, we received an email from our friend, Josh Golden at Table XI, saying, “I have a high-profile, urgent project that I thought might intrigue you.” Coming from Josh, the intrigue was immediate, but the pure joy came once we heard we were being offered the opportunity to design the user experience for the next RogerEbert.com.

As a native to the Chicago area, I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with Roger Ebert (with the added bonus of being able to help redesign a site that had frustrated me for years!). My enthusiasm was shared throughout the office, as every single Fuzzy Math team member volunteered to be a part of the project, some even saying they were “in” even if it meant working nights and weekends.

Our role was to shape and design the information architecture and user experience of the new site. We worked closely with the Table XI team to define users and scenarios, create interfaces that would work across multiple devices, and define interactions throughout the new site.

We built as many pages, and defined as many patterns, as needed to give the site a solid enough foundation for the developers and visual designers to get started. The Table XI developers were able to use our delivered wireframes to begin coding, while the talented crew at Love Has No Logic worked to define the fully responsive version of the site, and apply the final, pleasing visual touches.

Through research and persona scenarios, we discovered that reading new reviews for the week and finding ‘that one review from way back when’ were two common interactions on the site. We are especially proud of the implemented solutions for those needs.

The “New Reviews” area on the RogerEbert.com home page allows for all 5-7 new reviews for the week to be easily scanned with quick access to the full review, while also being visually pleasing at the same time.

Our goal for the Reviews section was to allow users to search across multiple movie data points to quickly find the movie(s) they were looking for, whether that was a specific title, an entire genre, or even “what were the four star movies in the year I was born?”

We will have a more thorough recap of our portion of the work in the coming days on our own redesigned site, but we are extremely proud to have been part of such a talented team, and truly honored to have been included on this project for such an outstanding man.

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