Deutsche Welle
Redesign & Relaunch 2012

The 30-language TV news language course portal. Developing a web redesign - within the framework of a general redesign that Deutsche Welle had just undertaken - turned out to be quite a monster on closer inspection.

A 300-page briefing detailed what DW had hoped for from the new website and also what it expected from a potential agency. Namely, for example, the implementation of all this during ongoing operation on the existing system. Anyway, for the first round called Stream 1.

Modular, minimal

Since a website with so many influencing factors is likely to overgrow and erode even the prettiest design in record time, Deutsche Welle was confronted with a Spartan design from just two basic building blocks. Plus navigation.

It is logical that the presentation for such a reduced concept was only 300 pages. Nevertheless, the DW forgave us the imposition and liked our concept. Perhaps also because it already contained the substructure for the LTR/RTL language changes and a silver lining on the horizon behind which there would one day be more efficient publishing without the old CMS.

The Production Style Guide

The Technopol

In addition to the design, a - carefully expressed - movable taxonomy and the construction in HTML and CSS, it was also necessary to rebuild the frontend delivery architecture, affectionately called CDA or template engine.

We were surprised to learn how many meanings the term "teaser", which is actually quite obvious to us, could have. We thought it meant the little infobits that were supposed to lure you to a lower page. We thought so. Haha.

Technically, we thoroughly analyzed the existing system and its cross-connections and then completely refactored the Java code using standard components. Everything is now beautifully, cleanly structured. The site you are currently visiting corresponds to the design syntax of the "new" DW, but it is completely created on the old system and uses the same workflow as its predecessor.


8 weeks between presentation and award of contract
30 languages
180 "stock formats" = teaser
4 Content-Management-Systems
1 Content-Management-Architecture
1 new Content-Delivery-Architecture, which came with
0 documentation (although known beforehand)
410 bug tracker tickets
97 icon types in 7 variants (not less)
6 pages production style guide (no longer)
6 programming languages
3 hours for the conversion to RTL writing direction (العربية…)
3 days for the adaptation of the RTL conversion for IE7 and 8

2012 – 2023
dw.de custom
Jahr der Werbung - Shortlist der Jury 2013

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