What can you tell people who ask something about Finland? The very first place to go to is www.finland.fi. Finland’s earlier country website had served millions of people interested in Finland, but over time, it had grown old. The assignment from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs comprised a total overhaul of the user experience of the This is Finland site, starting from a clean slate. The brief particularly emphasised a mobile experience, as well as taking into account the variable quality of content, especially images. There was no way of replacing all of the earlier content, which is why more than 1,000 existing content pages had to be repurposed on the new site.
The idea was to create such an online presence for Finland that will not be put to shame in comparison with any other country. The goal, simply, was to create the world’s best country website. Four implementation cornerstones crystallised: visual appeal, Finnishness, navigability and independence of the user’s terminal device.
After a number of design iterations, the final implementation builds on extremely simple navigation that allows the user to move on the site by subject, based on tags. The layout emphasises impressive images, the use of tags and visual highlights providing variety. Subject-based navigation personalises the site for every one of the world’s three billion online users.