Jim Brady, washingtonpost.com Executive Editor, explains some of the key changes to the site’s home page and the thinking behind it.
Jim Brady, washingtonpost.com Executive Editor, explains some of the key changes to the site’s home page and the thinking behind it. (Also see this Q&A with washingtonpost.com creative director Paul Compton)
* One of the most frequent complaints about our previous home page was clutter, specifically the number of links and lack of open space on the page. In this new page, we’ve added more white space and cut down the number of long lists of text links. The hope is that these changes give the page more of an open, inviting feel and make it easier to scan. We’ve also moved to a more modular layout to make it easier to find your favorite home page features.
* To better highlight our award-winning video and photo content, we’ve added a multimedia strip to the page. This band will be comprised of videos, photos and interactives, and by using the scroll arrows or the iTunes-like buttons, you can scroll to see more multimedia features. We’ve also created a similar strip for features content, allowing us to better showcase all the content we have in that area.
* This new home page also highlights the site’s newest section, Smart Living. Designed for those seeking information to manage their lives, Smart Living will aggregate the best stories, blogs and columns from The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com in the areas of parenting, health, food and dining, home and garden, pets, relationships, personal finance and more. Prior to this launch, consumer content could be found in many different areas of the site; the goal of Smart Living is to provide a one-stop destination. Because we thought that sounded, you know, smart.
* Because of the popularity of our Live Discussions, we’ve anchored a placement near the top of the home page to help readers find our schedule, previous transcripts and featured guests.
* As you may know, we have two home pages: One for readers with Washington-area ZIP Codes, and one for our national and international readers. On our Washington home page, we’ve added a “Local” button to our global navigation to provide easier access to local news, weather, traffic, classifieds content and more.
* On our national home page, we’ve anchored a Most Popular module on the upper right of the page. On the local page, this Most Popular module is located farther down the page, right below the features strip.
* To make it easier to find our video, photo and audio assets, we’ve moved to using icons to signify those content types. One of the valuable pieces of feedback we’ve received from you over the past year is that you find it difficult to locate our multimedia content. Between the new multimedia band on the home page, our recently launched video player and the switch to these more eye-catching icons, we hope we’ve addressed that concern.
* We’ve also added a strip across the top of the page that makes it easier to locate your user information, change preferences or set washingtonpost.com as your home page (c’mon, go ahead, you know you want to). Additionally, incorporating more of the feedback you’ve given us, we’ve added a label on the upper right of the home page to let you know which of our two home pages — Washington or U.S./World — you’re looking at. There’s also a handy link that allows you to set which home page you’d like to see.
* We’ve also built this new home page to have a lighter page weight, and thus, faster load times. We have also built this page to make it much easier for those with disabilities to read our home page with screen readers.