The Roger Ebert site shown across various devices.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert wanted to build a website that would serve as an archive, a conversation about movies, and a platform to invite and feature the voices of the movie critics they admired, and they brought Table XI on board to bring their vision to life.

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World-renowned, Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert was one of the most prolific writers of the last half century. For more than four decades, Ebert wrote not just film reviews, but essays, articles, books, a screenplay, and, since the dawn of new media, thousands of tweets, blogs, and Facebook posts. Not unsurprisingly, this 40+ years’ worth of content was scattered across the internet, the Sun Times and print.

The process of launching was really three projects in one:

  • Designing the new look and feel to make an intuitive and attractive experience for users
  • Building out the features necessary to power the site and allow the content team to manage it
  • Migrating the 12,000 pieces of content and 30,000 URLs from the old, antiquated systems and paper archives to the web

A note from Roger Ebert to Table XI.

We began the project with an discovery session (“Inception”) to understand the business context and opportunities. Once we understood the requirements for the MVP we began building wireframes and designing the new look and feel, and developing in short, two week iterations.

It might look simple from the outside, but took a lot of thought and engineering horsepower to create. The site now allows users to filter reviews based upon multiple criteria simultaneously, making it easy to locate and discover reviews dating back more than 40 years. SEO and organic search traffic is up since the new launch, despite the fact that Roger Ebert passed away just days before the site launched.

Table XI CEO, Josh Golden, with Roger Ebert and wife and business partner, Chaz Ebert.

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