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Web Site Case Study

PBS International


An international audience

This was a fun project for us because we got to really focus on usability. The audience is multinational, and we needed to design the simplest way for a user to log in, find the programming they are looking for, and then contact their sales rep to license it. PBS International serves public broadcast stations around the world looking to augment their programming. PBS offers over 800 programs at any one time that purchasers can license for use at their local broadcast stations. This isn't a site that needed to market itself or focus on acquiring new customers, it just needed to function very efficiently for their current user base. Customers needed to be able to find and sort content quickly, and PBS needed to be able to update content, monitor user activity reports, and allow qualified users to register quickly.


  • Brand and audience discovery
  • Determine web and video hosting solutions and reporting capabilities
  • Simplify UX while offering more robust browsing features
  • Content and user migration
  • Mobile and tablet friendly UI


Hosting Requirements

We researched various hosting platforms for PBS. Ultimately, we decided upon Wistia for their video content because of their excellent reporting capabilities.

User Experience

A few goals for improving the UX of the site included a better search tool, adding taxonomies to content, faster page and video loading, and a smooth easy way for customers to be able to screen programs online.

Data Migration

PBS had over 800 videos and 1200 users that needed to be migrated to the new system. The data structure of the previous site didn't match the new structure, and that required a bit of custom database building to get everything transitioned properly.


Representing the PBS brand

The world knows PBS' programming to be of the highest quality. The website had to mirror that quality. Content needed to appear as large as possible, and work smoothly and easily. Genres were assigned colors and appear on each thumbnail image so users can easliy browse through content of interest. The search tool was designed and tested to be super intuitive with minimal instructions needed.

Specifications & Requirements

  • Highest quality
  • Let the content speak
  • Search is key
  • Responsive design


Everything at your fingertips

The website was migrated seamlessly from their custom CMS into WordPress, and all users retained their previous login credentials.


  • Data Migration
  • Faceted Search
  • Custom Admin Areas
  • User Registration System

Data Migration

Existing customers login account were moved to the new system. Custom database work matched reps and regions to customers, and producers and genres to programs.

Faceted Search

The keyword search tool expands to an advanced search, allowing the user to filter by genre or keyword to quickly find the programming they're interested in. The results page continuously loads content with AJAX pagination as the user scrolls. Genres, keywords, and producers all search by those values when clicked on.

Custom Admin Areas

We expanded the Wordpress back end to include areas where the client can add or edit content directly to the database, including their sales reps contact info, and the territories each sales rep manages.

User Registration System

Users can log in or register from any page. Registration includes a number of custom user meta information, such as company name and genres of interest. Once logged in, the customer's personal sales rep appears in the top toolbar based on their region.


User Activity Reports

User Activity Reports

We connected the users' accounts in WordPress to Wistia to take advantage of Wistia's content tracking and analytics features. The client's sales team loves that they can now easily see who has watched which videos and when.


The website user interface was significantly cleaned up. Programs are easily identified by genre, and have clickable taxonomies attached to them as well. The search tool offers both a quick keyword search as well as an advanced search option, allowing the user to filter by genre or popular keywords.

"The talented team at Metropolis Creative has created a website that suits the needs of both our clients and our sales team.

In each design decision they consider what the impact will be on usability. We know that a lot of thought has gone into every aspect of our website design and feel confident that because of Mike and John, our users are now able to easily navigate and interact with our website in a way that will help us improve our bottom line. Only one week after launch we are already receiving excellent feedback from our clients who are thrilled with the new site and the ease with which they can find the programs they want and screen them online. We couldn’t be more impressed with the work they have done and we will be coming back to the Metropolis Creative team for any future developments." - Sarah E. Marks, Projet Manager, Program Manager, PBS Distribution