The New York Times rolled out a fresh and exciting website to engage more with the culinary community and give users a way to interact with the brand in the form of an exciting platform — Times Cooking.
This stunning web design offers users a digital destination where they can read through recipes handpicked by the New York Times team. These recipes have an authenticity and integrity to them thanks to the journalistic brand itself.
The New York Times’ cooking site, “Times Cooking,” is meant to merge the journalistic integrity and professionalism of the Times with a friendly, foodie community. As part of this endeavor, the Times has designed a site that combines the organizational conventions of a journalistic publication with the aesthetic, textual style of a social outlet.
There’s a balance of two different types of content here — journalistic and reported news about culinary experiences across the globe, as well as a playful mix of recipes and lighter content to create an experience that is informative, yet uplifting, fun and inspirational. And users can choose what content they want to interact with, this website offering a personalization functionality that caters content based on what you’re interacted with previously.
This platform promotes interaction and engagement. There’s a clear focus on culinary experiences and sophisticated truthfulness. This is a website that you know you can trust, with recipes that are backed by research and expert insights.
It’s a stunning destination that gives the New York Times more of a personality and allows users to interact more organically with the brand. This movement into a more social sphere by the brand is telling and highlights a dynamic shift in mindset and goals. It also shows the brand’s dedication to being modern, fresh and relatable.
The Times Cooking site is clean, sophisticated and strong. There is an innate integrity in the off-white background, clear images and straightforward layout of the design. There is also the professionalism infused by the brand name and its accompanying design elements.
The homepage is designed to establish a sense of integrity with a playful, communal atmosphere. The paneling and formatting of the page evoke that of a news and editorial site. Meanwhile, the colorful pop of the selected image and the categorical labeling provides a more social connotation.
From the home page, users can easily engage with an interesting piece of culinary journalism, or they can participate in the social trappings of a cooking community. The designer effectively captures this duality by providing an equally professional and playful design that speaks to both head and heart.
Upon first look, this design really does resemble an old-school news site. The shaded background, the sophisticated typeface, the clear layout and straightforward content all add to this vibe, instilling within users a trust in the content they’re reading.
But the overall content on this website adds a fun and excitement to the design that highlights the brand’s personality. This is a website for foodies and culinary experts to share recipes, try new ingredient combinations and learn new cooking techniques.
This balance between playfulness and professionalism is stunning. It’s sleek, modern and fun, giving users a way to flex their own culinary muscles with the knowledge that the content they're engaging with has been tried and tested.
This is a design that is authentic and authoritative in nature. The layout is clear, bold and clean boxes highlighting the food items in a sophisticated and elegant way. It’s streamlined, clear and direct. There’s no whimsical or creative orientation or organization. It is blunt, factual and truthful — this comes from that journalistic background from the New York Times brand.
But it’s necessary and aligns this culinary site as a leader because it can promote content that is trusted, meaning more people will innately want to engage with it.
The layout and orientation of this website are seamless. It’s simple, subtle and blatant. Specific sections of the site are clearly displayed, with clear CTAs making it easy for users to navigate from the homepage to their own account and recipes, to the weekly highlights and cooking guides.
This web design takes any confusion out of finding your next weeknight recipe, something that many other food sites lack. There’s a clear orientation and layout here that adds a pleasing quality to the entire experience. Users can get lost in the cleanliness of this design without the anxiety of scrolling through mass amounts of text, imagery and content.
And the scrolling, smooth gallery slider adds another level of ease and user-friendliness.
The scrollable slider shown here allows users to preview and select the content most suited to their intentions for visiting the site. It is yet another way that the designer has enabled the dual appeal of the Times’ website. If a user is more interested in culinary journalism, they can easily find and select exclusively formal content. In contrast, if a user is more interested in light-hearted communal content, they can also access that material from the same slider.
By giving users a tool that helps with smooth and targeted navigation, the designer has created a personalized user experience. This fluidity and customizable quality create a user experience that excels. By putting the power into the hands of the user, the creatives behind this design are giving these users a flexibility and an ease of use that can’t be ignored.
This type of interface helps a site to perfectly negotiate typically incompatible elements. Formality is often seen as contrary to play, but the Times’ slider helps the two coexist, guiding users to the content they want and keeping them away from the content they don't. This alleviates stress, anxiety and confusion.
If users are coming to this site for journalistic pieces on culinary experiences, they don’t want to see a long list of recipes and vice versa. This website does a lot in this design, providing a variety of content. But instead of drowning in this content, the layout, navigation and personalization aspects of this piece help users create the experience that’s perfect for them.
The NYT Cooking’s login page is yet another example of how their site has been designed to optimize its social and customizable capacity. Here, users can create a cooking profile to save and access articles and recipes of their choosing. Users can participate in the Times Cooking Community, or they can just aggregate the content they most appreciate. This means that the user experience of the site can be even more personal and social than before. If a user cares more about formal content over communal content, then they can aggregate the formal content or vice versa.
The New York Times is diverging slightly from its news-focused reporting in this website design, interacting and engaging with users on a more personal and friendly level by connecting them with content that is lighter, brighter and easy to digest.
This platform isn’t dedicated to hard-hitting news and impactful stories — but that doesn’t mean this content lacks depth. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The content on this site is engaging, creative, truthful and well-reported.
Visitors to the site can go down two separate paths with the content choices. They can read up on more journalistic pieces about cooking, culinary experiences and the foodie community, or they can search through the vast recipe offerings to get their own culinary inspiration. This duality is stunning and sleek, and it also creates a streamlined and seamless experience that's customizable, friendly and creative.
This balance is also mimicked in the overall design. The orientation and layout are straightforward, clean and direct. But there’s a playfulness in the content genre, as well as the heavy emphasis on product imagery. It’s a journalistic news site for sure, but there’s a liveliness and a persona to its content and structure.
There’s also an ease in navigation thanks to a scrollable slider that glides people throughout the site and to the content that they want to see.
Overall, this design is sleek, sophisticated, creative and fun. It’s a simple design on the surface, but once you dive back into the content and the overall experience, you’re able to access different layers that elevate this design and create a user experience that is personalized, fun and seamless.
There’s something for everyone in this design — something fun, informative and unique, and the overall experience is one that will have users coming back for more.
NYT Cooking is a clean website design that shines. It’s more than just a food blog, and it’s more than just a site dedicated to culinary news. It’s a mix of both that excites, alleviates and inspires.
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