I’ve previously pointed to major corporate use cases of .design, like facebook.design and airbnb.design. One of the things that is so interesting about these sites is that they are content rich and full of a variety of resources, from videos to interviews to design manifestos to event promotion and individual contributions from team members.
Now, we’re seeing an ingenious corporate use case that creates just as interesting a destination with far less work on the actual website itself. The goal is largely the same, to focus and raise the voice of a company’s design team and bolster their recruiting, but the medium (ha!) is different.
Enter booking.design and npr.design, coming straight from the design teams at Booking.com and National Public Radio. What they have done is used the .design domain in conjunction with Medium to create a professional looking site that has the look and feel of something they created and designed themselves when in reality it is just their publication on Medium.
For anyone hiding under a rock, Medium has created a network around blogs. Back in the 2000s you would send people to your own dedicated blog, these days your blog is probably a publication on Medium (or at least reproduced there). A single post on Medium is called a ‘story,’ a collection of stories by the same author or group is a ‘publication.’
So, NPR & Booking.com have created a Medium publication and rather than let it live at a long URL (medium.com/longURL) they have branded it directly to themselves via their own domain, a one-time $75 charge from Medium.
From there, Booking.com and NPR both support their content generation and the design department’s voice with Twitter accounts, here and here. Of course, those Twitter accounts have their elegant .design URLs rather than a clunky Medium.com/longURL. In this way they’re able to brand themselves rather than Medium! $75 well spent.
Leave it to the ingenious folks in the design departments at household brands like Booking.com and NPR to come up with a fun ‘hack’ to a professional and engaging content platform!