General Media / industry news

News-Observer launches redesign

Charlotte’s News & Observer launched a redesign of their web site today. Here’s the new site:

And here’s the old site in January from the Wayback Machine:

Publisher Orage Quarles III wrote:

We’ve kept favorite features such as most-read articles and the latest blog postings from our staff, and we’ve eliminated a lot of clutter that had accumulated over the years as we added content.

We know that change can be disconcerting, but the digital world is constantly evolving as research and technology yield a better experience for readers online. The new design has been extensively tested with users and loaded with best practices for presentation.

On the new site, pages will load faster, thanks to improvements to the system that powers it.

I don’t normally highlight all the redesigns at professional sites, but it’s worth looking every once in a while to see where industry is going.

A few notes about the redesigned front page look:

  • This is not a responsive design. The site still loads a mobile “headlines” version on the iPhone, and the web version is fixed width, although it is wider than the previous version.
  • Headlines and text are sans-serif on the front page, replacing the serif headers on the previous version.
  • The main graphic has been upsized significantly, as have thumbnails on stories further down the page. As you scroll down the page, featured stories get more prominent display in the more horizontal descending layout.
  • There’s a lot more white space on the front, and fewer teaser paragraphs at the top of the page.
  • The main nav bar under the header is less cluttered and each link is larger, while the “family of sites” is now at the bottom of the page.