Skip to main content

Website shake-up for leading independent voice in film

Back to Case Studies

Fresh digital space for movie magazine and online publisher, Little White Lies


Little White Lies magazine is the leading independent voice in film, championing great movies and the people who make them.

They wanted a site refresh, creating a new look to attract a wider audience to their reviews of movies, documentaries and series, industry news, and interviews with biggest names in the world of cinema.

Screenshot of the Little White Lies homepage

What the client wanted

  • Fresh look to attract a wider audience
  • Freedom and tools to construct pages and deliver content efficiently
  • Improved search functionality and A-Z directories
  • Integrations to share content through popular news aggregators

The story

About Little White Lies

Established in 2005, Little White Lies began as a bi-monthly print magazine. Now distributed internationally and also an online publisher, Little White Lies is the leading independent voice in film.

Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, Little White Lies has been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.”

Screenshot of the Little White Lies WordPress website, showing homepage below the fold with call-to-action to get the magazine


Balancing aesthetics and business needs with adverts across the site

One challenge was the visual representation of advertisements across the site. Typically, online publishing revenue is heavily advert-driven, making adverts an essential element of the digital space.

We carefully designed adverts into the site without taking away from the new look and feel, and ensured they worked well aesthetically and functionally across all of the different templates.

Screenshot of the Little White Lies WordPress website, showing article with advertisements

Search directories responding to user input

Redefining search functionality was a technical challenge that involved deeper consideration of users so we could quickly deliver them the information they need.

We were tasked with rethinking the search functionality based on how users behave on the site and giving them easier ways to find what they are looking for, such as A-Z directories for reviews, actors, and directors.

Integrations to share content through popular news aggregators

Pushing the content from Little White Lies further, we integrated the site with Apple News, which at the time was new, making this a complex task to deliver.

We utilised an API connection and plugin that could pick up posts when they were published, communicate with Apple, and feed the story through Apple News to reach a wider audience.


Supporting content delivery

One of our key goals was to make the day-to-day work for our client easier by supporting them with content delivery.

We developed a flexible content builder that enables the Little White Lies team to construct pages using bespoke content blocks.

Utilising columns to reflect the traditional look and feel of a newspaper or magazine, Little White Lies’ content feels fresh and familiar at the same time.

Freshen up your website

How do you see your website evolving? Let’s talk — we’d love to hear about your vision.

Stand-out reviews to engage readers

As a publisher, Little White Lies’ content is generally delivered in a linear way, but accented with creative touches such as unique and recognisable review scores.

Capturing the different aspects of the movie-going experience, the review scores explore anticipation, enjoyment and retrospect.

As an important feature, these scores have been thoughtfully presented in the introduction of each review, featured within the review archive, and scattered across the site.

Call-to-actions encouraging conversions

Encouraging conversions was an important goal for the site.

Banner adverts and call-to-action buttons are used throughout the site to direct people to external platforms where Little White Lies can generate revenue and continue building its community by selling:

  1. Single editions of magazines
  2. Magazine subscriptions
  3. Memberships
Screenshot of the Little White Lies WordPress website, showing an article with CTA for memberships
Katie, Sales Strategist, sat in office booth working on laptop

Let’s connect

Katie is ready to talk all-things CRO and web performance.

Improvements after launch to further engage their community

Our design and development work rarely stops at launch. We find that the best approach is to regularly revisit websites and collaborate with our clients to explore new priorities and challenges that we can solve through their website.

Our experience with this client was no different and we’ve worked with Little White Lies to develop more features in the time since their site was first pushed live.

This included a page dedicated to podcasts to engage their community more through a rich archive of media. The page pulls in their podcast streams, presenting a featured podcast at the top of the page and an archive of older episodes below.

Screenshot of the Little White Lies WordPress website, showing the podcast page

Visit Little White Lies’ website

What we achieved

Banner adverts and call-to-actions to sell magazines, subscriptions and memberships

Adverts to support online publishing revenue that work well aesthetically and functionally

Integrations to share content through popular news aggregators

Rich archive of media to engage their community

Unique review scoring system presented across the site

The last word

The planning sessions were great, taking into account the needs of all 
of our stakeholders and fore-fronting any issues which may arise with intelligent problem solving.

Adam Woodward

Creative Lead, Little White Lies

Gemma Twomey at the Atomic Smash office

Let’s evolve your digital platform

We take on existing WordPress and WooCommerce sites that have already been built and improve them month by month to get them performing better.