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Great Big Story

Showcase stories that inspire wonder and curiosity.

Great Big Story is an award-winning film company launched by CNN in 2015. Their studios produce and distribute films, micro docs, series, and experiences. Created by a network of global storytellers, to date they have told over 2,000 stories that engage and inspire wonder in millions of viewers daily.

We designed both their video viewing platform and their corporate website, always with the goal of designing a smart, seamless, and stunning platform to showcase all of their amazing, compelling stories.

Our Role
UX/UI Design
Great Big Story Video platform image

Video Platform

A Modular Solution

We started by working closely with the GBS content team to identify and align on the goals and requirements for the new experience. We agreed that the new site needed more ways to discover content, easier navigation between videos, and better sponsor & partner integrations.

Our solution evolved the site from a simple side scroll navigation, to a well-organized, modular layout system that could be moved into a variety of configurations at any time, based on the needs of their editors. This includes ways to highlight individual videos, feature Series or Playlists, display editorial content, and highlight What’s New or Staff Picks.

Great Big Story video platform image desktop

Smarter Organization

Part of our challenge was to introduce two new forms of content to the platform: Series, Playlists, and Channels. We had to establish a visual style to distinguish the two, and organize the content in a seamless way. We designed Video Series covers in a movie-poster style with styled titles, and treated Playlist covers in a square-format with thematic artwork. Each unit was also designed to accommodate sponsor & partner branding when necessary.

The different forms of content were given prominence in the main nav and homepage sections for an easy user experience. And we introduced tags on individual videos to improve search and discovery of new content.

Great Big Story mobile image carousel one

Custom Video Player

We updated the video player so it could include details on the ideas and topics presented in the video. We also designed a custom browse and next feature within the player to keep users engaged, and to offer people multiple different ways to discover more amazing stories.

Great Big Story video platform custom video player image

Product Design

Plus! A better company website

GBS also needed a company website to promote their work and sell their vision to sponsors & partners. We helped them define the right approach, and then created an experience that highlighted their mission, displayed the kind of content they create, and attracted advertising partners.

We established their visual identity through the two website projects, and formalized it through a robust style guide which they could apply across brand communications in the future.

Great Big Story product design image desktop
Great Big Story Video platform image


Still together after all these years

A real partnership, we continue to work together after nearly 5 years. As the video landscape has changed we have evolved the experience and continue to look to what’s next, together.