Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's This? A Redesign That Works? Kudos to the L.A. Times Website

Redesigns are tricky. Most of the time, readers will register their objections immediately -- change, after all, is tough.

But lately, it seems like just about every redesign really does take things from bad to worse. That's why I was stunned to see today's overhaul. Clean, well-organized, compartmentalized... it's a Virgo's dream.

Here's what's new, from online managing editor Meredith Artley and LAT editor Russ Stanton:
- Streamlined navigation at the top of every page, highlighting our main coverage areas such as local news, sports and entertainment.

- Right below the black navigation bar, you’ll see topics “In the News.” Here, you’ll find quick access to big stories we are following, whether it’s the state budget or the Emmys or coverage of unrest in Iran.

- Our new modular approach to the homepage means you can quickly find and access multimedia packages of the news of most interest to you. Scroll down the page, and you’ll see features including the award-winning investigative coverage of “Mexico Under Siege,” excerpts from popular blog posts and columns, top headlines from well-read sections and interactive databases such as Mapping L.A.

- We’ve simplified our articles, making them easier to scroll without interruption from related content or advertising.

- Design aficionados will note that we have gone from a sans-serif font (Arial) to a serif font (Georgia). Not only did we find that this was a more readable font, but we also felt it connected to our overall brand much better.

LA Observed has more on the changes here. I'm sure I'll find a few things to nitpick, but overall, nice work. (Now, about bringing back "Sally Forth" to the funnies pages...)

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