The New York Times operates on its own terms. When it came out last year with that wondrous piece of multimedia journalism, “Snow Fall,” you had to take a step back and wonder: What else is planned? (“Seriously,” New York magazine book critic Kathryn Schulz tweeted at the time, “that NYT experiment is like: how to satisfy Norman Maclean, Ansel Adams and Steve Jobs in one fell swoop.”)
Now the Times is redesigning its website, and it looks like the answer to that question is: A lot. It’s about time. The site was looking antiquated as other publications — like The New Republic, for instance — have moved to create fresher, more interactive online reading experiences.
“We’ve created a cleaner, more modern experience that’s easier to read, view and use,” the Times writes on its First Look blog, “and we are pleased to be able to share the initial results of this endeavor with you.”
You can see samples of what they’re planning and request an invitation to access the prototype here.
Full press release below:
NEW YORK, March 12, 2013 – The New York Times today announced plans to introduce a prototype version of NYTimes.com in advance of a series of major site enhancements that will begin later this year.
The purpose of the prototype experiment is to gain feedback from NYTimes.com users about the functionality, design, navigation and overall experience of the planned redesign.
Starting today, Times employees who access NYTimes.com from inside the Company firewall will be able to experiment with the new article pages, which are the first to undergo changes, and provide feedback on their experience. The public may access a preview of a sample of the redesigned article pages via this animated guided tour.
In the coming weeks, the prototype will become available to a randomly selected group of users outside the Company, who will have the option to utilize it and provide feedback, or opt out if they choose. Users who are not selected may request an invitation to test the prototype on NYTimes.com, though audience size is limited.
The Times will use the feedback as it continues the process of developing a richer digital platform to best showcase its award-winning journalism and premium advertising.
Users who participate in the beta experiment will discover changes to article pages that include:
- A cleaner, more engaging design
- Richer integration of photography, video and interactive story elements
- More efficient customized navigation for registered users
- Responsive designs optimized for desktops and tablets
- Higher-impact presentation of advertising
- Improved ability to scan and discover content
- Better-integrated user-comments and share tools
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, said, “As we continue to develop our rich content offerings across video, slideshows, data visualization and interactive graphics, these adjustments to NYTimes.com provide the structure our newsroom needs to deliver a best-in-class digital news report.”
Denise Warren, general manager, NYTimes.com and senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group, said, “We are constantly looking for ways to better express our journalism and improve our digital experiences, for users and advertisers alike. We trust that our highly-engaged audience will provide constructive feedback about the beta site, which we will consider very seriously as we work to create the most comprehensive and immersive digital news experience we possibly can.”