Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not feelin' the Buffalo News redesign

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 10/23/2008
Update (Oct. 27): The Buffalo News has addressed my two big concerns with the new design, adding timestamps for stories and getting rid of the scroll bar for the Latest News bar. You have to scroll down for it, but now I'm not as heated about the new design.

This may be just me, but IMHO, the Buffalo News redesign is a step in the wrong direction.

I realize it's just the first step of a process. Editor Margaret Sullivan writes in "Inside the News" today, "[i]t is the first phase of an overall site redesign that will continue over the next several months."

Hopefully that process will include reader feedback, and I'm guessing it will. The biggest changes? The front page is broken up into little sections now rather than just one main story and a bunch of other ones with the "Latest News" bar. My biggest beef with the new design is the omission of that Latest News bar. To find the most current news, you have to scroll down now. Then to even use that Latest News bar, you have to scroll WITHIN it. Several steps backwards, IMHO.

Here's a screenshot of the old and new sites. I don't mind the new font/bigger writing and the push toward a more graphical presentation, but the subtraction of the Latest News bar which was unique to the Buffalo News Web site and the omission of when the stories were posted with the new design, these are big problems the way I see it. It used to be that most newspaper sites were commercialized, but the News wasn't; it seems the times are changing. Hopefully they get the issues resolved and find a happy medium everyone can enjoy.

Old site


New site

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