Case Studies


A premier digital agency and premier digital men's lifestyle magazine team up - increased website traffic and advertising revenue result. Ultra 16 re-designed FHM's user experience to differentiate FHM among competitors as a destination for rich, compelling original content.


FHM Magazine (US) had long battled with the perception that it was a derivative of Maxim magazine; as a result, both magazine sales and web traffic suffered. FHM wanted to figure out why session times were so low, and how to alleviate that problem. The challenge to Ultra 16 was to increase traffic and total time spent per user session.


Ultra 16 conducted a thorough analysis of Men's lifestyle magazines (Maxim, GQ, Esquire, Details, Cargo, Playboy, and Men's Health), as well as out-of-category titles that appeal to the same demographic. We also conducted extensive usability tests on both FHM's site, and the sites of its competitors. Overwhelming evidence suggested that FHM was seen as "light reading" without "destination" content (articles a reader will seek out directly upon picking up the magazine, unlike GQ or Esquire, which were viewed as "content rich").

Ultra 16 developed multiple IA concepts for the re-design, built a prototype and tested it vs. the old site, as well as the competition. Based on the results Ultra 16 enhanced the website's "brows-ability" by designing and implementing an entirely new way of browsing by placing a "flippable" virtual magazine prominently on the left side of the page.


Post-launch, user session times more than doubled the pre-launch figures and the number of unique visitors steadily increased each month. Likewise FHM has realized increased ad revenue and site revenue based on higher "site stickiness."