Media Upstarts

Bringing Together Time Inc. Brands

Case Study

Media Upstarts is a brand of Time Inc. that focuses on millennials who are starting their careers and connects them with resources. The purpose of the new Media Upstarts website is to bring awareness of this unique department of Time Inc. to the world.

Time Inc. wanted a site design that is unique for this particular brand, yet also tips a hat to the parent brand. Our team jumped into action and delivered something that stood out, but still felt connected to Time's flagship site through complementary design and UI elements.

Our Challenges

  • Quick Timeline

    Time Inc. came to Valet with a specific timeline. The new website needed to be launched quickly. We immediately scheduled discovery meetings to thoroughly understand the vision of the project, finding ways to meet their fast-approaching deadline without compromising the integrity of the project.

  • Complementary Branding

    Valet designed a brand to complement the Time Inc. brand, without competing with it. Since Media Upstarts is a subsidiary of Time Inc., it needed to support the main company—without taking over the spotlight when the two are shown side-by-side.

  • Security Guidelines

    Meeting the security parameters of the Time Inc. corporate guidelines was also important. To this end, our team worked in close cooperation with the Time Inc. security team. Our developers addressed the need for privacy, encryption, and vulnerability to the latest attempts on WordPress common framework.

Our Process



At the kickoff meeting, we immediately discussed the project's goals and requirements, addressing the tight timeline. We reviewed Time Inc.’s current site and identified which elements should be similar to Media Upstarts and which should not. Together we chose milestones for the project and made a contingency plan to use for unexpected challenges. The Media Upstarts team was set up in our project management software, Wrike, so they could view progress at any time.


Weekly Process

We agreed on a schedule for communication and measuring progress each week once production started. Every Monday, we’d meet with the Media Upstarts team and outline our goals for the week. Our Valet project manager invited everyone involved to respond to tickets and check progress, reporting in on Fridays with a detailed update.


Discovery & Planning

Next, we took all the goals that were defined in on-boarding—along with any problems discovered, and chose solutions. From there, we created a plan of attack, aka a "project roadmap". This included specific requirements, tasks, estimates, timelines, post types, plugins, and a start and finish date.


UX/UI & Design

In this phase, we wireframed and prototyped our way to a site that would feel intuitive to Time Inc. users. We allowed the parent brand’s site to heavily influence the design, but spent time modernizing it to meet the demands of a new audience. We aimed to give the user plenty of breathable space—making the site feel digestible and easy to read.



Once stakeholders were happy with the designs, we buildt them out to work flawlessly on all devices—including phone, tablet, and & desktop. For Media Upstarts, we adhered to the strict security guidelines of Time Inc. and ensured the website belonged with the rest of the Time Inc. brand family. As always, the site met the highest standards for current best practices, created with future growth in mind.


QA, Training + Launch

All of our projects include quality assurance time. We worked hand-in-hand with the Time Inc. security team to prep for launch, meeting their tight timeline without any surprises. We trained the Media Upstarts team on how to QA and test the site under various circumstances via live training and screencasts. On launch day, they were thrilled with the results.


The Solution: A New Brand of Time Inc.

A Modern Immersive Experience

The Media Upstarts site is rich and interactive, pulling the user in. When visitors come to the site—hungry for training, events, and networking—it's immediately clear where to find relevant information. The dynamic aspects of the site, along with the social media focus, truly communicate with the millennial target audience.

Easy to Digest & Elegantly Simple

The site is elegantly simple, with an absence of fluff content that wastes time. There are subtle transitions, which make it feel smooth and fluid. The header, full background images and videos scale nicely, taking up visual space and providing breathing room.

Media Upstarts Admin

Effortless Content Tools

The content team at Media Upstarts needed an effortless way to manage their video content. Our developers integrated the BrightCove video management system into the new site. We added layout for content to wrap around the videos, and we created Custom Post Types so Media Upstarts can easily manage videos on an ongoing basis.


Events are a huge part of the Media Upstarts mission. They've brought in big speakers, from former banking executive Sallie Krawcheck and LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth.

To properly showcase and manage their events, we integrated a third party event management system into the site. Our web development team created a Custom Post Type that displays events and also provides archives of the events. This functionality allows Media Upstarts to own their event code and have a record of all the corresponding copy. We tied this third party tool seamlessly into the image and brand of the new site.

Media Upstarts iPhone

Services Provided

  • Business Intelligence
  • SEO Conscience
  • Brand New Custom Design
  • Advance Custom Fields
  • Education & Training
  • Gravity Forms
  • Responsive
  • Ability to Edit Site on Mobile App
  • New Custom Post Types
  • CSS Animations

"Valet was wonderful to work with in creating the Media Upstarts website for Time Inc. From the start of our campaign, every member of their team treated each step of the process with the utmost professionalism, dedication and excitement. Valet has a unique vision to their work and brings an invigorating creative lens that helped shaped the Media Upstarts website to function and look the best it can. I look forward to working with Valet again in the future!"

Cassandra Skoufalos, InStyle Magazine

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