Underlined starts new chapter with website for Book Nerds
Underlined wanted a new chapter for its manual-intensive, clunky website. The Brandtenders at Lounge Lizard came up with a thriller.
With a reach of more than 1.8 million, Underlined is a Penguin Random House company that connects young readers to books, authors, and peers in engaging ways.
The new website is all about books, books, and more books. It’s a place where young Book Nerds can unite and talk about the latest stories and authors. They can also get feedback on their own writing, discover upcoming book events, and purchase the newest merch in the online Shopify store.
Every story has a good backstory. The Underlined website is no exception.
With a pandemic at peak levels in early 2021, book clubs and schools were no longer meeting in person. That made it even more critical for Underlined to craft an online space for young Book Nerds to gather, stay connected, and get lost in the excitement of storytelling.
Brandtenders at Lounge Lizard knew this was a significant chapter in Underlined’s history. Through function and design, a virtual book community was created that young adults would be excited about.
A modern design makes every book look like a fascinating must-read.
It’s also hard not to be a little obsessive with the fun quizzes, book trailers, and reading lists.
Staff at Underlined were overwhelmed by adding so many book titles to the old website. They needed to be manually categorized, and this had to happen in a timely manner in order to be successful.
Moreover, the technology was outdated, and the page speed was slow. Fixing the page speed was critical to make the website user friendly and also positively impact SEO.
That’s when Brandtenders turned into sleuths and superheroes. Brandtenders worked with Penguin Random House’s API and built a custom WordPress plugin to save the day! The plugin works on dynamic pages and provides leverage to update books as they come in automatically. Books now organize themselves by author, series, and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) — sounds a little Harry Potter-esque, right?