E! Online Redesigns, Moves from ‘Glossier’ Look to Highlighting 24-Hour News, Live Events

Digital publishing senior vice president Jaime Freedman tells TheWrap why this is the perfect timing — coronavirus and all

E! online

Starting Monday, E! Online is going to look different as the company seeks to highlight not only the popular shows on its cable channel, but the 24/7 news from its news desk and the live events it covers — or will cover, when the pandemic is over.

“It’s our first redesign, rearchitect, reimagining of the site in more than four years,” senior vice president of digital publishing and audience strategy Jaime Freedman told TheWrap last week, noting that the previous redesign was “glossier” and “more curated.”

This is “a really good time” to try something new, she said of the new redesign, which the company has been working on for a year and a half. Ultimately, the goal is “discoverability.”

Freedman says between 80% and 90% of the visits to E! Online come from users on mobile devices, so the redesign took their needs into account in a unique way. Freedman’s team is hoping to encourage “stickiness” — which means those who check the homepage do so repetitively and stay on the site — and when asked what the already-sticky, average E! Online user might notice in terms of changes if they checked the site Sunday night and looked again Monday morning, she said, “It depends what’s happening in the world!”

The focus will be on current events — whatever they are — and stories from the company’s news writers, with trending topics high up alongside inline photo galleries users won’t need to open in a new page.

“Working from home, we never thought that would happen,” she added of the coronavirus’ impact on the multi-month project. “The team did an amazing job pivoting, not skipping a beat. We’re still hitting all the deadlines that we anticipated before we ever imagined working from home, so I’m incredibly impressed and proud of the work.”