The New York Times has been completely refurbished but there have been no drastic changes. If you have read the times for years, you may not notice much of a difference. In fact, readers familiar with the print newspaper might feel like you are taking a step back in time. Behind the scenes though, it is the largest website redesign in seven years thanks — to mobile technology.
The bright blue headlines are gone, as is the lengthy sidebar in favor of a grayer digital format with abundant white space. The site feels more like the New York Times paper edition than NYTimes.com. Director of digital design for the Times, Ian Adelman says, “We’re leaning more heavily on the site to maintain our identity.”
It is that notion of identity and branding that Adelman and Denise Warren, executive vice president of digital products at NYTimes.com, returned to again and again on the eve of the redesign launch.
Not apparent at first glance, the site contains a series of changes that will transform the user experience, predominantly technical changes for mobile devices. One noticeable difference is the article pages that now have an associated article ribbon at the top to lead users to related news stories.
The business side of the enterprise will also be affected by the enhancements. The Webpages emphasize visuals that capitalize on the lucrative growth of video ads. The layout also sets the stage to launch native advertising.
The redesign a crucial step in the company’s plans and the online version is the company’s bread and butter. More people read the Times online than its print publication. NYTimes.com receives about 1.6 million unique viewers per day, compared to the average daily newspaper circulation of 731,000.
This refurbishment includes an entirely new back end, much more extensive than the tweaks that have taken place over the past few years. It will set up the sites evolution for years to come. “Rebuilding the entire backend of a website that is as successful and as large as ours is, it’s kind of like changing the engine while you’re flying a plane, so we wanted to do that very carefully,” says Warren.
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