TED

Sharing inspiring content with billions, worldwide

When Method partnered with TED in 2006 to realize the mantra, “Ideas Worth Spreading,” the groundbreaking ideas and talks from the TED Conference were available only to select conference attendees. Creating the digital platform for sharing this unique and innovative content, Method has helped TED reach over 1 billion worldwide video views, and counting.

In designing TED.com, Method’s strategy focused on surfacing TED’s unique content, the TEDTalks, and creating a seamless and differentiated viewing experience.

Since launch, the design has proven immensenly successful, enabling TED.com to become one of the most popular video sites on the web. In the first year, pageviews soared to 46 million. Unique visits jumped an order of magnitude—to 15 million. Currently, unique visits to the site are running over 17 million a month, and since its launch in 2007, TedTalks have been viewed over 1 billion times.

www.ted.com

Challenge

Among the world's leaders, no gathering is as revered as TED. The international conference brings together a curated showcase of new innovative ideas, products, and people, and is recognized as a top forum for the world's most exciting and revolutionary thinking.

These acclaimed lectures and performances, however, were limited only to the exclusive audience privileged enough to secure an invitation to see them. That changed in 2006, when TED opened up a series of video podcasts, TEDTalks, that captured the lectures and made them available online. What was previously only available to the community in attendance at the TED events became accessible to millions worldwide.

TED's reputation and influence continued to grow as the TEDTalks gained popularity. What was needed was a cohesive online presence to truly capture and deliver TED's mantra of "Ideas Worth Spreading.” Method joined in a collaborative partnership with TED to help them deliver on that promise.

Approach

While TED originally pursued various directions for the online platform, such as a focus on social, Method quickly arrived at the conclusion that the true value in an online platform for TED would be the TEDTalks themselves. "The content is really what makes TED, TED," explained Method Principal, David Lipkin. "It's totally unique, and it's what people are looking for. So, we had to bubble it up to the top."

Method designed TED.com around the inspiring talks and content, making the videos the centerpiece of the online experience. The result was a homepage visually featuring TEDTalks. Users enter the site, and are immediately immersed in a catalogue of content ranging from a variety of themes and topics. The videos are categorized by both industry and field, and also rated by a range of tags. In a conscious decision to forego the five-star rating paradigm, Method chose to utilize descriptive tags for videos, rating them by keywords such as “inspiring,” “beautiful,” “informative,” “courageous,” “funny,” or “persuasive.”

Through this rating system, users can curate their viewing experience and discover videos that appeal to both their subject and emotive interests.

To further emphasize the sense of community, Method also incorporated a range of social tools, allowing users to comment and favorite talks, share videos on other sites, as well as create profiles that enable interaction with other members of TED. With the site built around these prominent video podcasts, TED.com becomes more than an informative or content site—it becomes an educational tool for a truly global community.

In addition to the sleek and simple front-end, Method also built an intuitive and easy-to-use content management system for TED staff, allowing them simple access to post TEDTalks, to organize content, and to also work with sponsorship partners and advertisers to keep the conference and community alive and vibrant.

Outcome

Method’s strategy of focusing on the content has proven immensenly successful – enabling TED.com to become one of the most popular video sites on the web. In the first year, pageviews soared to 46 million. Unique visits jumped an order of magnitude—to 15 million. Currently, unique visits to the site are running over 17 million a month. Since launch, TEDTalks have received over one billion views, and the website continues to win top design and media awards annually.

"We've dramatically expanded our community to millions of knowledge seekers across the globe,” explains TED curator, Chris Anderson. With a reputation for innovation, and a promise to share “Ideas Worth Spreading” at their global conferences, TED.com has allowed that forum to evolve and scale into an even more expansive community, with several more conferences and locally-organized TED communities planned.

Right now I'm holed up on TED.com, sampling the talks. The TEDsters bellow their ideas at me, and I try to brook more stimulation. Thanks, TED. I'm clearly inspired out of my mind.
The New York Times
Like a case-study in the best UX design, it's so smart, so intuitive and so understated. What's more, it utterly fulfills the promise of the Web by democratizing otherwise inaccessible content.
Toria Emery
Communication Arts

OMMA Awards

Video Sharing
2008

How Interactive Awards

Merit
2007

One Show Interactive

Bronze Award
2008

Pixel Awards

Nominee, Experimental
2008

Webby Awards

Podcasts
Best Navigation/Structure
Best Visual Design
Technical Achievement
Best Use of Video or Moving Image
People's Choice
2008-2011