Vogue

Responsible For

  • Full-stack software development and architecture
  • Direct management of the development team
  • Server & Cloud Infrastructure architecture
  • Managing the UX and Design process
  • Working with editorial and commercial teams to prioritize features
  • Content structure and CMS configuration
  • Build workflow & Continuous Integration implementation
  • Analyzing user-journeys through analytics and sharing reports with other teams

Technologies

  • C# (.net)
  • SCSS
  • Javascript
  • HTML
  • Web Proxy
  • SQL Server
  • Umbraco
  • EC2 (ELB and Auto-Scaling)
  • Google Analytics

What is it?

I’ve been part of many iterations of the Vogue website, as a front-end developer, as a full-stack platform developer and as an architect and manager. I developed myself the first fast javascript gallery with image zoom for fashion imagery. I managed two CMS migrations, designing site structure optimized for both search engines and user-journeys. I then managed the teams responsible for an ambitious and rewarding re-visioning of the fashion website, which put the user experience at the heart of content and advertising.

Not only did Vogue have 2 million monthly users, but those users consume a huge amount of content and pages per session, and repeat their sessions very frequently. This created interesting challenges with regard to scalability and robustness of the platform we created. I solved these challenges with a scalable cloud architecture and cross-team deployment processes which included test environments.

Working with an editorial team with exceptionally high standards, I gained the ability to present confidently to demanding clients whilst empathizing with requirements from experts in their field. The environment was not only inspirational in terms of the quality and following of their print product, but so was their dedication to the craft of design.

I learnt the value of thoughtful design, and applied that by integrating designers and programmers in to a team which values the quality of each others’ skills. Through an environment of mutual respect, we created a culture of learning, resulting in the web designers playing more of a role in the build of the product, and the developers able to influence and ask the right questions of the product in the prototype and design stages.

This site was a great opportunity to think about differing needs of different users. Whilst many of Vogue’s users are typical fashion enthusiasts returning frequently to catch-up on the fashion and fashion-focused celebrity news, a huge chunk are fashion industry workers or students performing research on a huge fashion-show archive or looking for deep insider-knowledge about the fashion industry.

Timeline

2013

Managed the redesign of Fashion Show content for the site, including a research stage investigating . Resulted in an immersive design where all content from a show is presented to a user at once, and still encouraged exploration and ease of discoverability for content by an adaptive taxonomy that displayed content by fashion season, by designer or both.

2012

Managed the design and development teams responsible for a complete re-imagining of the website.

This was the first high-profile, high-traffic consumer magazine website to become responsive to fully take advantage of all screen sizes and input paradigm.

The team also dramatically improved the reading experience for users and advertising experience for both users and advertisers. The goal was to meet the quality and care of design the Vogue brand is known for from its print product. We pioneered the use of performant web design techniques and received industry acclaim.

2010

Architected and led the creation of a notification system for fashion shows, where thousands of users signed up to receive multiple different levels of emails to let them know when scheduled content was published to the site.

2008-05

Developer for new content pages, editorial templates and content database migration. Architected a methodology for the rest of the development team to create new pages more efficiently than the CMS previously was designed for.

2008-02

Created a cloud-based content management system for images. I worked closely with a team of picture editors to design and develop a desktop application and back-end database that could make their jobs more efficient by high-speed ingesting high quality images at multiple editorially-chosen crop sizes. Also created an API for all developers across all Condé Nast websites to connect content pages to images, and dynamically select appropriate crop sizes for the website template and user-device.

This application successfully handled millions of images for many years, as well as being hailed as industry-first, by picture editors at the time, in the way it handled parallel uploading and cropping, removing repetitive workflow burdens for many people.

2007

Created the registration database and user-action flow for newsletter subscriptions and user-signup. Developed integration with 3rd party email marketing provider.