MJD teamed up with the good folks at Vail Resorts to help re-launch their digital magazine – Epic Life. The goal was to create an online destination for Vail Resorts’ lifestyle publication that visitors would find engaging and informative. We also needed to build a site that was equally great on mobile devices, as that is their fastest growing user base. Our background in lifestyle and action sports brands fit the project perfectly and the team at Vail was ready and willing to dive in head first into our process.
UX and IA
Fresh off a trip out to Colorado to meet the Vail Team in person and be inspired by the mountains, we kicked off our process with overall user experience and information architecture planning. The MJD wireframe process is where all the site details are flushed out – outlining page layouts, content types, interactive elements, social elements and annotations for the creative and development teams’ next steps. We took a mobile first UX approach that really shows in the responsive design layouts, check it out on your phone when you can.
This was a fun one from a creative standpoint. The Vail Team (shout out to Jeff and Amy who are brilliant and daring) was willing to push the boundaries, saying no to a standard website and yes to doing something a lot more creative. The focus was a site that is mobile first, adds user personalization based on personas, and includes social integration – while looking amazing. With that in front of our minds we created numerous design concepts to start from and worked our way through to the final version you see live today. The final creative has big bold imagery and engaging editorial layouts that pull readers down the story with interactive visual elements. A thought out digital experience + engaging editorial content = A great user experience.
The platform we chose for this project was Drupal for its flexibility, responsive ready theming, and easy to update CMS features. To the right you’ll see an image of the site responding to various browser sizes – from desktop, to tablet, to mobile phones. The home page features a social stream integration from Mass Relevance, while the featured stories infinitely scroll as you go down the page. Other cool technology features include Content Tag Based Personalization, Contextual Filtering, and SOLR Search.
See for yourself, the site looks great! It just launched so we will be working with the Vail Team to monitor, optimize and add onto the website as it grows.