We developed The Pool’s award-winning content platform, with its unique content model and stand-out user experience:
  • Winner at the 5th annual Online Media Awards for ‘Technical innovation’
  • Winner at the 21st Annual Webby Awards for 'Best lifestyle mobile site and app'
  • Winner at the 7th annual Lovie Awards for ‘Websites, Lifestyle’ & ‘Mobile Sites, Lifestyle’

The challenge

Founded by Sam Baker, former editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan, and BBC Radio 6’s Lauren Laverne, The Pool is a pioneering digital publication for women ‘too busy to browse’.

Inspired by the radio broadcast model, original content on everything from politics, to film and fashion is published during specified timeframes to enhance its relevance to readers.

The Pool required a powerful technology framework to support its unique model. Content needed to operate on a radio-broadcast-style schedule, with regular ‘drops’ throughout the day and night.

And with many of the publication’s contributors needing to publish directly into the content management system, it was imperative that content editors had access to a simple, easy-to-use administrative system supporting a powerful publication workflow.

With a strong focus on how its content is consumed, The Pool was looking to deliver a differentiated user experience that makes it easy and enjoyable for readers to find relevant content at the right time, regardless of whether they’re browsing on a laptop or a mobile.

What we did

We built a fully-responsive website using a powerful publishing platform based on Pimcore. This open-source content management system was identified as the right fit for The Pool’s complex demands, thanks to its support for bespoke functionality.

The administrative system for content editors is straightforward and includes a publication workflow, so content can be seamlessly approved by The Pool's editorial team. The administrative system replicates the look and feel of the actual templates, providing content areas that can be edited, and drop zones that can be populated with different types of media. The result is a simple, powerful content management experience.

The Pool’s content is housed in a groundbreaking ‘timed wheel’, a mechanic that allows users to scroll back and forth to view the day’s programme.To ensure the broadcast model was incorporated into the technology, we built a broadcasting tool to automatically post content at the correct times.

The frontend stack was chosen to ensure a fast, responsive, and mobile-optimised user experience across all devices.  

One of the reasons we designed The Pool as mobile-first, and then built it up, is that everything we do, we do with our user in mind.

Sam Baker, founder, The Pool

The results

Following the site launch, The Pool has gained recognition as a pioneering new media platform that puts the needs of its readers first.

The publication was awarded the 'Technical innovation' accolade at The Drum Online Media Awards 2016, The Webby People’s Choice award for 'Best lifestyle mobile site and app' in 2017, and was a winner in the 7th Annual Lovie Awards for ‘Websites, Lifestyle’ and ‘Mobile Sites, Apps & Podcasts, Lifestyle’.