Most blogging platforms are not very good.
They look and feel uneven, the content layout is an awkward mashup, and they're usually intrusively branded with the platform's identity, overshadowing the author.
The concept behind Hero was to create a high-quality, individually brandable platform using a flexible system of modular layouts. Hero would give users the tools to tell uniquely compelling viral stories — entirely in their own voice — and make those authors partners in an ad-supported network.
In order to execute effectively, Hero had three core ambitions.
1 — Be Adaptable
Poster images, inline images, pull quotes, headers, animated infographics and more. Every user would need something different. Hero needed to serve it all up with elegance.
2 — Be Gorgeous
No one wants to spend time on a boring site, or a site so ugly it makes your heart cry. To attract readers, and creators, the platform had to be vibrant and enjoyable.
3 — Be Invisible
It's about the creations and not the platform. So the product needed to disappear into the user’s brand. You should land on a Hero site and have no idea you landed on a Hero site.
In order to understand what users needed, we'd work with a team of writers and experiment rapidly.
I managed the writers, directing various content concepts. Then I brought the results back to the design team to collaborate on new design directions for Hero.