Head to Polygon’s home page, and you’ll be greeted with an image-heavy front page. Click on any of the articles, and you’ll experience a redesigned website meant to focus on speed and accessibility.
The new interface allows readers to toggle through articles with their arrow keys, and also directs the site to load articles first – other content on the page is secondary, and doesn’t change when a reader loads a new article. There’s also a place for clickable content (that readers can access without a keyboard command), and improved ad targeting and placement.
“The term “redesign” definitely calls to mind a visual focus, but this effort was as much about architecture and load times as it was about improving the user interface,” Jake Lear, a Polygon developer, said in an email to Poynter. “Our main goals for the redesign were to make it easier to read content … easier to find content related to a reader’s current story, and easier to continue reading news on Polygon after that first story.”
Lear said the redesign was important given the changing ways reader interact with Polygon’s website.
“When we originally approached the design for Polygon… we wanted the article page to be as captivating as the front page. With the prevalence of social sharing in today’s world, a new user’s first impression of a news site is no longer the home page.”
Ted Irvine, director of design at Vox Media, which owns Polygon, said reader experience was at the heart of the redesign.
“Our overall user experience needs are related to the way the article looks and functions,” he said via email. “From a design standpoint we needed to create a canvas for editorial that was easy to use. We did this by making the width of the column that houses the article smaller, so articles that are text only look better and are easier to read.”