S&P Global Inc. wanted a transformative new way to present information to its S&P Platts audience. HexaGroup delivered, creating a visually striking, highly interactive experience called S&P Platts Live.
S&P Global is a big player in business. It builds and maintains market indices such as the S&P 500. It also owns S&P Platts, a subsidiary that provides news and analysis around commodities.
The S&P Platts website reaches tens of thousands of readers per month and serves as a portal for investors and industry insiders to review commodities data. However, S&P Global believed the site could do more to engage readers. The company desired a more interesting and interactive way to display its content and connect its audience.
S&P Global chose HexaGroup to design, develop and launch an all-new website called Platt’s Live. HexaGroup brainstormed and mocked up looks for the site, developed and deployed its framework, built out the S&P Platts feature set and implemented the technology behind the scenes to bring it all together.
The original S&P Platts website targets a more simple and barebones design. It leaves most visual elements on the sidelines, opting instead to put a heavy focus on written content.
S&P Global sought out a completely different approach for its Platts Live website – something that felt more “alive” and invited engagement from visitors. HexaGroup got to work mocking up several design choices before finally landing on the look Platts Live features today.
To start, the Platts Live website changes up the presentation of the S&P brand while still keeping the core aspects of it intact. It makes use of the traditional red, black and white color scheme, but displays the colors more aggressively with larger, bolder typefaces and oversized buttons.
Autoplay videos are implemented on numerous pages, including the home page, to add movement and immediately capture the reader’s attention. Some pages also make use of moving category bars and Twitter tickers to reach that same objective.
Images and videos feature more prominently on Platts Live, where they’re able to more effectively pique a visitor’s interest and add context to their respective articles and summaries. Podcasts are also integrated to add another option for consuming S&P Platts content.
Finally, Platts Live was built with the understanding that mobile traffic is already surpassing desktop traffic and will only grow its lead in the future. The entirety of the Platts Live experience – from its layout to its navigation – was created with phones and tablets at the forefront.
The technical aspects of Platts Live make it much more challenging than the average web development project. The site goes far beyond the original S&P Platts website and its delivery of commodities news and analysis. Instead, Platts Live is an entire social community for those who want to learn about, talk about and network around commodities.
After trialing several other content management systems, WordPress was ultimately selected for Platts Live due to its scalability, robust security and ease of customization. It is the latter capability — along with a significant amount of custom code — that enabled HexaGroup to provide many of the site’s social features.
Users who sign up for an account on Platts Live can create a profile and connect with other users on the platform. Members are able to send messages to one another and also partake in community discussions about various business sectors.
Designing Platts Live around increased engagement meant developing reader-centric features, which the site has in spades. Those with an account on Platts Live can save any article to a bookmarks list for later reading. The site also utilizes an algorithm to understand past browsing behavior and recommend new articles, videos or podcasts a visitor might be interested in.
Because Platts Live aims to stay agile, the site is continuing to evolve and adapt through design changes and new features. HexaGroup remains involved in this process and also provides technical support to the Platts Live team on an ongoing basis.
From top to bottom, Platts Live meets all the criteria set forth by S&P Global for its new commodities website. It embraces a bolder design, utilizes more moving elements for a bit of liveliness, includes features to increase engagement and offers reasons for visitors to keep coming back for more.
The HexaGroup team – which includes designers, developers and back-end tech specialists – is extremely proud of the work done on Platts Live. But it could not have been accomplished without input from and collaboration with the S&P Global team. They provided HexaGroup all the tools and information needed to make the initial launch a success.
As Platts Live receives new features and updates, HexaGroup remains committed to helping it grow through our design, development and technical services.