With the ringing in of the New Year, the New York Times made some New Year’s resolutions along the lines of rebranding and website design. Visit their site and you’ll catch an eyeful of vintage formatting, salutes to the printed version of the publication, and a more mobile-friendly layout.
It’s been seven long years since the Times renovated their website. Back in 2007, with iPhones a brand new visitor to the world, the Times was trying to catch onto the futuristic wave of technology sweeping in. This new version of the website is more true to the Times’ history, with a retro header sans blue bars, and more of a vintage newspapery feel.
The Times reaches a printed circulation of a little over 700,000, while 1.1 million unique visitors head to their website everyday; with this makeover, the Times is staying true to their identity as a newspaper while catering to the Internet market.
The new website design features more white space and less clutter. In short, your eyes don’t hurt so much and your brain isn’t overloaded with a million stories to read. Instead, the Times features a simpler layout with a convenient ribbon of related stories on each page. Rather than being a different animal entirely, NYTimes.com is now what it was always meant to be: the online arm of a newspaper.
The Times hasn’t reinvented the wheel here; rather, they married modern and vintage style together. The managers in charge of the project definitely had a vision in mind on keeping the site like the paper, and they really hit the nail on the head. For example, “flipping” from page to page on the site is flawlessly similar to flipping through the printed version of the Times.
The website design includes menus and comments at the end of an article operated from slide-out icons; this keeps the page nice and clean until you’re ready to navigate on or read comments. The pièce de résistance is that comments can be posted side-by-side with the article, so you can see exactly what readers are commenting on and incorporate that into your reading. The site continues to offer news videos, now presented in a darkened theatre-type atmosphere.
In a word, the new NYTimes.com provides clarity. When asked for his feedback by Mashable, a leading source for news, information and resources, Carl Widdowson, the CEO of The Creative Momentum, wrote that “the clean feel really allows me to focus on the areas that I am more inclined to concentrate on. When landing on this site, the latest news alert catches my eye apart from any other section. I like this because it has a jewelry store impact: the use of white and black tones makes any color shine and stand out like a diamond."
Shine on, New York Times.