It looks like the Pottermore we all know and love will look a little different this summer.
The Bookseller reported on Friday that a new design for the Potter website is set to be announced, and it will “broaden both the user base and its publishing business.”
With the new design your adventure begins even before the visitor registers and enters the website. You will now be able to cast spells, compete in wizarding duels, and (and this is the big one) get sorted into a house – which we all know is one of the best parts of the Pottermore experience.
But the initial entrance to the website is not the only thing that is changing; the whole internal infrastructure is going to have a different look and feel.
The process will no longer be in a “sequential order.” You will now be able to “visit the sections dedicated to each title…users will be able to enjoy the chapters they want to in whatever order they desire.”
They will also be a more prominent divide between the “user journey and the Harry Potter story.” This will allow users to visit certain areas and interact with houses without needing the story portion.
A lot of the changes that will be happening are in order to broaden the site’s participants.
According to Charlie Redmayne (the chief executive of Pottermore) the site right now is a great place for people who already know and are fans of the books, but what they want to focus on is making sure the site will be able to hold the attention of “casual” or new fans.
“As it stands, if you don’t know the books you won’t get much out of it,” Redmayne told Bookseller. “What we want to do is open it out for those people who haven’t read the books, or who haven’t seen the films, but perhaps come to it via the Lego, or the Harry Potter computer games.”
Pottermore has also begun working with an offshoot program called CreateMore that is allowing them to work with some big names on their digital strategy like Guinness World Records and Beano – which is a children’s comic in Britain.
A year after the website’s launch and 45 million unique users later, Redmayne says that building out the business side of Pottermore is the next step, “This to me is ultimately a publishing business. We are beginning to see what Pottermore is: it was never just a website.”
The company is working towards releasing new Pottermore related programs. A number of apps (nothing in particular is mentioned) will be released later this year, and after the success of The Book of Spells (over one million sold over Christmas alone!); Sony will be releasing The Book of Potions.
Redmayne spoke about the ingenuity of The Book of Spells saying, “It is a book, but we didn’t publish it as a book. It is a good example of what publishers need to do: think about all the ways of publishing a piece of content.”
With the Harry Potter e-book sales still running strong on the Pottermore website, they will now be looking to expand to China and Russia.
Do you think all the changes to Pottermore will be a good thing or do you like it the way it is?