In 2007, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the leading purveyor of edgy and cerebral cartoons for grown-ups, hired HUGE to design and develop a simplified template system that worked for each of their 40+ shows as well as a set of modular tools that could be rolled out across additional pages when new shows were created and gained popularity. Adult Swim, part of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting Network, attracts more young men than either MTV or ESPN. The new design had to meet the standards of the show’s highly individual and skeptical audience and reflect the show’s irreverent and idiosyncratic approach to entertaining its fans.
HUGE worked to find ways to let the dramatic individuality of each show shine through while sharing technology and design assets across sites. We balanced Adult Swim’s anarchist sensibility with our real-world usability by boldly discarding the interface and focusing the entire site on a comprehensive content strategy. The new template system allows users to watch clips of their favorite characters, view episode guides, play interactive games, and complete a variety of other tasks for each show.
Instead of creating a traditional website, HUGE delivered a complex application powered by a number of different external feeds tied together by essential content. Visually, we roughed up the corners and yanked out the slick, inundating users with Adult Swim’s cheeky sense of humor. After the new release, traffic to show pages increased 600 percent. The new templates position Adult Swim as an anti-establishment force to be reckoned with.