As the online home of Complex magazine, the site was pretty enough, but as the hub of the Complex Media Network (which was formed in 2007) complex.com wasn't getting it done. "It was a very difficult site to navigate," says Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex Media Network. Users had to really look and dig for things. Which, for the hub of a burgeoning network of more than 50 sites, just wouldn't do at all.
In 2010 complex.com saw average monthly traffic jump from 500,000 uniques and 4.5 million page views per month to 2.3 million uniques and 32 million page views, according to Antoniello. And that's with what he considered a laggardly interface.
The new complex.com is sleek, but counter to much thinking in online publishing, packs a whole lot of content into its smooth interface. The goal, says Antoniello, was to up the number of entry points on each page and better highlight deep content from the network, as well as providing a deeper platform for features.
The redesign is not just skin deep. Easy-to-navigate-to verticals listed across the top of the page now aggregate content from other sites in the Complex Media Network such as SneakerFreaker and Juxtapoz. And the intra-network hover bar at the bottom of the screen (with an expandandable video ad unit) incorporates a ticker of the news from the other sites as well.
The redesign packs in more everywhere, without getting cumbersome. The story carousel features nine stories (including one that's an ad unit) alongside a column of the six latest stories and your standard most popular feed. And that's just above the fold.