KEXP has long been the place “where the music matters,” and thankfully for the independent Seattle radio station and the people who use its website, the design matters, too.
KEXP.org, the internet home of the 46-year-old station, has a fresh new look and an “entirely reimagined” online experience thanks to what the station refers to as a work-in-progress that has been taking place behind the scenes for about a year.
Almost two years after moving into a new home at Seattle Center, and about six months after overhauling its mobile apps, KEXP has a website to match all that spiffiness. The framework for the previous version of the site had been in use for about nine years, according to the station.
The new site definitely has the stacked, blocked look of many modern websites, with prominent links to blog posts mixed in among promotions for station events, such as the upcoming International Clash Day.
The ability to listen live is still featured prominently at the top of the site where the KEXP Live Stream shows the show and DJ on the radio at the moment and the music that is being played. A link to the Real Time Playlist is also featured up high, at the right of the homepage.
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KEXP’s most popular content is accessible through menu items grouped at the top of the screen: Listen, Watch and Read. The content is further proof how far beyond just terrestrial radio the station has progressed over the years — especially with its extremely popular video offerings.
According to the station’s welcome page, here’s what those categories have to offer:
- Listen leads visitors to all audio-related material including podcasts, archived podcasts, shows, DJ profiles and the weekly station schedule.
- Watch lets visitors access a curated selection of KEXP’s exclusive videos including featured, classic in-studio performances, and footage from festivals the video team has visited.
- Read provides a link to written content including Song of the Day, music news, show and album reviews, and special columns.
Top navigation on the site also takes visitors to an events page, instructions on how and where to visit the station and, perhaps most importantly, a donate tab to keep the money coming in so the improvements can keep happening.
KEXP told GeekWire that most of the work was carried out by KEXP staff and paid contractors, but that volunteers played a key role as well, particularly in the areas of design, user experience, and beta testing. Volunteers previously helped with the app refresh.
The station said that now that a new foundation is in place, the site will evolve over time to add more services.
“The website was designed with an intuitive interface to enable listeners to discover music through KEXP’s audio programming, video and written editorial in one unified location,” the station said in a statement. “It also provides an opportunity to unify our technical platform, retire old services, and empower content editors throughout KEXP to update areas of the site.”
The website is the latest undertaking for Chris Busiel, who started in the newly created position of digital director at KEXP last July. The impetus for his role is part of an overall strategy at the station, in which digital improvements and content generation are an important area of growth.