NBC News reveals responsive redesign of website in time for Winter Olympics

Give NBC News a medal: Major website redesigns often miss deadlines, but the newly responsive NBCNews.com has launched in time to take advantage of an influx in traffic from the Winter Olympics — especially via second-screen social referrals.

Before today, the mobile website lacked as many amenities as a Sochi hotel room. But now it embraces the strategy of an infinitely scrolling vertical stack of story cards with an emphasis on visuals that we’ve seen adopted recently by NPR and The Wire.

The NBC News website on a smartphone yesterday, left, and after today’s responsive design.


Among the biggest changes: faster load times, edge-to-edge photos spanning the entire screen, and article pages that automatically transition to a related story when readers reach the bottom.

NBC News is also launching two video series: Show Me, which offers animated explanations of complex data, and Debunker, which debuts with Al Roker explaining myths about the polar vortex.

“What we’re most interested in is changing how we tell stories,” said Gregory Gittrich, vice president of news and product for NBC News Digital, in a conference call previewing the site on Tuesday. “And we recognize that the best way to deliver news takes many forms, from standalone images to tweets that provide a little bit of context, to fully produced stories and fully packaged stories that we can marry with video.”

As the New York Times did in its January redesign, NBC News has adopted the app-influenced “hamburger” menu button at the top left of the page and finally changed its outdated blue headline style. Gittrich said updates to NBC News mobile apps are in the works too.

Said NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in the call: “I think this is finally a home for all of us, commensurate with our good name and what we do and what we’ve done for so many years.”


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  • Tom

    NBC took several steps backwards with this website. Is this the same crew that originally built the ACA website?

    I look at what they call the “top stories of the day” and none of them have any video footage. While I like to read, I can do that with a newspaper.

    It’s called NBC Nightly News, that NBC stands for National Broadcasting Corporation, where’s the broadcasting?

  • rls321321

    Someone please help. when I click “news” and then the whole page which the exception of two inches at the bottom is covered by a blue screen what do i do. It’s like they have tried to make it impossible to use.

  • Joe

    There is not one person I know or anyone on the internet that I have yet that likes the redesign. It’s awful, I used to go to nbcnews everyday, first thing in the morning but no more. I will never understand why people don’t understand, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. A shame, I liked nbc and getting my news from them, looks like I’ll be going elsewhere as most others are.

  • CarlaRichardson

    I really do not like the new website. I access with my phone. Slow loading, ads popping up, awful. Disappointed and now staying away more than checking in.

  • Tyler Ar

    Well, a good week has gone by and NBCnews still has not come to their senses. There are some positives though to their new redesign. NBCnews.com is entertaining 5 year olds across the planet…………I enjoy seeing our 5 year old commenting to our 3 year old about all the pretty colors on this website. It’s even more fun because it keeps our kids pre-occupied for 20 or 30 minutes with all the endless intermittent pauses with endless scrolling. this is quite unique; with the lack of organization our kids get lost in therir forever. The endless intermittent pauses contribute to the lack of efficent organization. Am thinking, now I can leave our 3 and 5 year olds at home for an hour or too while we go shopping; they’re get so enamoured with the colors and challenge of getting the site to work that they don’t move an inch for close to 2 hours.
    We have had some problems though, sometimes our 5 year old gets stuck with the endless scroll-up/scroll-down/scroll-up/scroll-down when viewing the infinite number of pictures too large to fit on laptop screen………at least our 5 year old now knows how to use an air sickness bag. I enjoy NBCnews.com getting involved in the learning development of our children in real world practicality.

  • SW44

    I absolutey despise their new look. The header and footer are so domineering that the news story is only about 2″ wide, and you have to scroll too much! If it’s for mobile viewing, then why am I seeing every news article this way on my laptop? I can’t read it it’s so annoying. And I don’t like all that blue header hanging down, nor the footer that squishes the news story into such a small space. ACK, what an unpleasant, claustrophobic feeling! I feel like I’m trapped on an old style AOL island. Damn, give me more room and a clean, white background. No matter how long this style remains, I will never get used to it nor will I like it. And, with each story that I click open, I quickly “x” out that page and just resort to giving up reading it. I’m not feeling at all apologetic in declaring just how much I hate this new design! And it’s like they aren’t even listening much less caring! What gives?

  • okiejoe

    I wish they had missed their deadline by five or ten years. There is no NEWS on their site any more, just pretty pictures that are not about anything. I, too, am done with NBC until they provide a real NEWS presentation.

  • stressed-dessert

    Well I learned something today. When you drag the NBC news icon from your Safari browser list in order to trash it…… it makes a cute little puff of smoke.

    “I think this is finally a home for all of us, commensurate with our good name and what we do and what we’ve done for so many years.”

    Well, not all of us. I have a life and precious little time to wade through this mess. Bub Bye!

  • jbOC

    i switched away from it. I am not driven by graphics. I need content organized.

  • cassandra777

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the new design unusable. I guess the BBC is the way to go. LOL, when I first went it to it I thought I had inadvertently done something to the settings to make everything insanely huge, it never occurred to me anyone would purposefully wish it to look that way.

  • Molly

    I have deleted MSNBC from my bookmarks. Going with CNN. I live in South America and MSNBC was my go-to site to keep up with home. I liked being able to see a list of headlines for each area. I really do not want to look through one thing at a time. I want to see a variety of headline and choose the ones I want. Please go back !!!! :) Please

  • freddobbs

    Horrible and useless. deleted from my favorites. Now I just use CNN and BBC

  • Scott

    OMG!!! After more than 10 years as my home page, someone please send me an email when they change it back! Thanks

  • Daryl

    MSNBC and NBC News have been my home pages for many, many years.

    I was fair and gave your new format an unbiased attempt. I said “Give it a chance; get used to it and you may like it.”

    Well, I’ve had enough. I miss the concise view of the world around me and the ability to customize my home page. You could have given people like me an option to read the “classic view” as opposed to the modern view that you have put together for some unnamed audience. Disappointment abounds.

    I am changing my home page to CNN until I find a better view. I will miss you NBC News.

  • http://www.sincronix.com Maria Magdalena

    I didn’t like the new rededsign.More about web design on this site http://www.sincronix.com

  • Krista

    As a professional web developer (for more than 15 years) I have to say this is one of the _worst_ mistakes I’ve seen a company make with its homepage. News sites are supposed to make it easy to see article titles and quickly scan through what’s available to read. If you want to give tablet users another design, that’s fine, detect mobile devices/OS, but for users on a desktop who actually _read_ articles and not just look at the pictures, this is absurd.

  • Don

    The only reason I’ve been visiting this site lately is to see just how stubborn NBC is, and how long it takes them to admit they made a mistake and change it back.

  • LVTrish

    I thought I was looking at window’s phone for a minute. I much prefer the old site. I like being able to scan the page quickly and click stories that hold some interest to me.

  • WesLowell

    Good way to chase people over to FOX or CNN. Well done you bunch of morons!

  • carolyn mordecai

    Maybe they didn’t have enough money to pay people to maintain such a wonderful website. If I want to see beautiful pictures, there are lots of photo albums in my closet.

  • Jerry Aceto

    I have been watching to see if all the negative feedback on your new website has prompted you to change back to the original website. I see you have not. So I have chosen to switch my home page to CNN. I do not like the CNN site better than the old NBC site, but it is much better than your new site. At least there are categories and articles listed resembling your old site. The pictures/tiles are just an awful way to present the news. Give us a little more credit. We are adults and can read. I left picture books long ago.

    I hope you come to your senses. For starters, you should fire the person that convinced you to change to this “Windows 8″ looking website.

    Off to CNN. It has been a nice ride with you. I use to enjoy your site READING the news every morning and through out the day.

    Oh, by the way, this is the third time I have voiced my opinion, as I am sure many others have. I notice you do not have the balls to answer these letters. Apparently, YOU can’t even defend this garbage website.

  • XeonForge

    You tell me what’s great about it. Not only is the website lousy but their Olympic coverage is even worse. I wonder where all that 800 million that NBC spent to broadcast the games went to? NBC Extra is a complete joke as well. Nice one NBC, force us to input our cable provider to boost your ratings.

    Only to find there is nothing there which wasn’t already broadcast already in Prime-Time. What do you think DVR’s are for lol. Where is all this supposed exclusive coverage you were bragging about. How about less talk and more sports. Hell even the BBC is doing a better job covering the games. NBC = Nothing But Crap!!

  • Ataricade

    I hate it but thought it might be ok on a tablet. Guess thats a fail too. I have to imagine once people stop going just to see the train wreck visits will start to decline. I expect they will adjust it

  • Ataricade

    Its Horrible, Looks like a netflix app on a tablet. They are totally out of touch and are just following a trend. Comcast is trying to push a similar interface on to my X1 cable box. We do not want these giant pictures and tiles! Im on a high res Retina MBP and All I can see is like 5 giant pictures. ridiculous

  • sgl11453

    I hate it. I can’t find anything. It’s a visual mess. Someone needs to take an art class or a graphic design class. Everyone seems to have missed the concept of white space or some sort of visual organization so you eye and brain can understand some sense of order. NBC News is failing to tell me what is more important and less important. As we get more and more information and visuals thrown at us in our daily life,we need more structure and organization to make sense of it. Not less. They seem to completely forgotten that they are a news site. copy/content matters. I can’t figure which articles I’m interested in. The Daily Beast just screwed up their website recently too. I need to start finding another go-to website for news. Too bad.

  • zanzibar27

    BTW… Sam Kirkland, the author of this piece of trash article that praises the website should be shot. Or… he should spend his time browsing the sucky new web site on his Leapfrog. It works fine on that device.

  • Steve Taylor

    A few years back the MSNBC website was voted the best news site. NBC took over the site and kept the original design until now. I don’t know who is responsible for turning gold into lead at NBC but I won’t be back.

  • njx

    I hate this redesign on my laptop, and I hate it on my tablet. It is horrible. Someone deserves to be fired over this.

  • Sandra151

    Sadly I will not be going to this new HORRENDOUS website any longer. If I wanted to look at a bunch of photos I’d go to people magazine. After 10 years of relying on this site for my news, I will not be back. NBC you just lost another customer. Fire your web designers while your at it and bring back the old site. It was perfect the way it was.

  • Earthworm

    The new nbc web site design is terrible, horrible, awful…let me get out my thesaurus. I don’t do mobile so couldn’t care less about that. What about those of us who liked the original design because of its concise, organized nature that let us click on what WE wanted to READ instead of an endless, mindless scroll of pictures screaming at us? What on earth were these redesign geeks thinking? I was stunned to wake up to this travesty a few days ago. I really tried to give it a go for about 15 minutes and finally gave up, googled peoples’ reactions to this travesty, and then researched some of the alternative sites they mentioned. Go to google news, folks. It’s not as good as the old nbc site but hugely better than the new one.

  • Andrew Rodez

    Do they know that they are losing viewers everyday. We should be given a choice no have it forced on us. Oh, wee do have a choice to leave NBC news

  • the_lunatic

    For what it’s worth….

    I owned the company that did the mobile edition of 12 NBC local affiliates four years ago. In 2011, I gave up – because they wouldn’t pay us.

    NBC Corporate is a moron factory. Period. Those that are halfway competent are fired, while others smoking something that I am seemingly in need of are promoted. This sh(t just keeps happening at NBC – year over year.

    Just look at Jay Leno…

  • Tyler Ar

    Responsive Redesign?????? It doesn’t work. Clicking about to see what NBC is now presenting it is clearly seen that it is anything but responsive. Sam Kirkland…….time for you to find a new line of work; this article is proof you don’t have the vaguest idea of how to analyze anything.

  • Tyler Ar

    Well lets see…..Deborah Turness, President of NBC. Sam Kirkland, author of this article. Hmmm. These actions remind me of just one thing, the quote from “School of Rock” where Patty Di Marco utters “Oh, my God? (s)he’s and Idiot”. [I think full appreciation will come when you view the exceptional way in which she says this - see the movie].
    What is “Sleek”, “technologically advanced”, et cetera is how easy it is nowdays to COMPLETELY sabotage your own news (?) website in only the mater of 1/2 day. Lol.

  • rls321321

    after 10 minutes i’ve given up. i am moving to CNN

  • tkates

    I was very disappointed to go to nbcnews.com today and see such a headache-inducing design. I barely knew where to look for the types of stories that I enjoy reading, let alone the top stories that didn’t have giant art. I really hope that NBC listens to its readers and either switches back to the old design or comes up with something better than this.

  • rls321321

    This is the worst Website design I have ever seen. Big bright colors are great but, not being able see as many topics as possible with once glance is a major pain. It won’t last. I guarantee it.

  • ehmkec

    Might as well offer my unneeded opinion – Its really bad.

  • Michael Lum

    So this “responsive redesign” offers edge-to-edge photos spanning the entire screen, and this is what we want–to look at photos on our screens. Extra, Extra, LOOK all about it! After all, this is a photo site, not a news site. Life is so much simpler without a list of topics to choose from. Reading is so overrated. Next, cable TV news with high-resolution photos and no audio. Audio doesn’t sound as good on smartphone speakers and this way we can have cross platform uniformity.

  • BS Detector

    “NBC News reveals responsive redesign of website ”

    OMG, what were you smoking when you wrote this article and headline ???

    infinitely scrolling vertical stack of story cards – NOT a good thing when TRYING to find NEWS !

    faster load times – like I said, what are you smoking ??

    tweets – don’t want them for my news !!!

    Windows 8 redesign – still in bed with Microsoft, I see ! Can’t find SH(t because of it. Used to be able to scroll through story headlines in 5-10 seconds, NOT NOW !!

  • wswalcott

    Looks like I will be searching for another good home page because I am dropping NBCNews. Any good ideas for where to go would be appreciated.

  • wswalcott

    I can’t stand the new website design. I go to the site to read articles so I like to have links to categories and articles in a traditional style that resembles more of a newsprint design, not for all the flash. I am not a fan of the advertisements before every video you want to watch. I like speed in getting my information and moving on. The new design looks amateurish in my opinion.

  • lordfly911

    I like to read my news, not look at pictures. What am I, in 2nd grade? Yuck! The mobile app now sucks as well. They really screwed the pooch on this one.

  • michael martin

    Oh and another thing, I hate video’s. I like to read. If I want to watch video’s, I go to YouTube .
    There is a picture, I guess a video, of a doughnut so big on my screen that it is blurry. it is gigantic. What is that? Was the normal comment section gone also? I click on the Giant Doughnut, it took me to a never ending screen filled with, i guess other video. Nothing to read.
    What happened to NBC News?

  • michael martin

    I agree that this is terrible. It looks like Windows 8. Which is horrible. If i wanted to read the news on a mobile app. I would use my phone. This looks like my phone now, which I hate.

    You lost me as a viewer. I tried again this morning. It seems like you are forcing me to view what you think is relevant. I cannot even scan to see what is new. Epic Fail NBC. I have no clue where I will go, but I guess I should start looking, this is terrible.
    Bye

  • Tyler Ar

    Not many are tempted to write an article about this enormus fail at NBC News online. This is by far one of the most epic fails in online programming. It’s interesting that the people who write these articles say things about the new online format such as “its sleek”, “its gorgeious”, “its an advancement”. In light of being so clearly wrong…………are these article authors, like the one above, brown nosing NBC for a job????? Lol, since NBC well on way to lose over 90% of its readership base, just more proof that these authors (like above), really are not smart and have no ethics.
    The new programming change is………
    - An eyesore
    - Scattered presentation makes no logical sense; the worst of any newsite for trying to peruse through all the news in all categories; this simply wastes the readers time.
    - Making people sea sick on their PCs/laptops….”Wonderful new larger pictures”……….lol, the pictures do not format, you have to scroll up, scroll down, scroll up, scroll down et cetera to see the picture.
    - The site is non-functional when article tabbed out of msn.com home webpage opens………the article NEVER loads.
    Clearly the author above never graduated high school. He did get one think right though……there is “endless” scrolling involved. What a dummy.

  • Thomas Francis Mitchell III

    For YEARS I’ve relied on it too, it’s taught me an immense amount of information and I can always find an interesting read… until today… I’m glad I’m not the only one. I saw this article and was appalled to see it receive so much praise. This… this is awful!!! You’re right on the money with Windows 8. I found this page we’re currently on only after trying to find some option on the new design to switch it back to classic view as I thought for sure such a drastic change would provide such a thing, especially when I look at it on a PC and not a mobile phone. Disappointed.

    I care, because it’s a daily part of my life.

  • Bell

    This site re-do is what you would expect when a formerly useful news site turns their design over to children. Is it hard to look at? Yes. Is it useful for learning about new stories? No.

    I’m gone.

  • Alaskanexpat

    All of the articles about the new site are the same, but I find it especially embarrassing that Poynter published such tripe. It was nothing more than a pro-NBCNews puff piece, that should have been tagged as an ad. Shame, Poynter, shame.

  • Jmg

    The redesign is horrible. The stories are not organized by topic and you only get a handful per screen meaning you instead of scrolling through maybe 4 pages to see the latest headlines in the various sections you either have to scroll down dozens or you can see a specific type of stories through the menu, but then you still have to go through the 7 or so topics to read the latest headlines and have to scroll through several pages on each of those topics. I’ve been reading NBC News on the web for more than 10 years and they have been my #1 source, but not anymore. Not all of us want a world saturated with images and hard to read headlines that have been typed over the images.

  • Tim

    Check out their Facebook page. Out of the thousands of comments about the site, there is not one positive comment. The closest thing is one user who thinks the shitty new website can be saved. Everyone else thinks it is a disaster. #nbcnewsfail #fireDeborahTurness

  • Tim

    Are you joking? This is arguably the worst website redesign of the 21st century. The people at NBC should be embarrassed for such a piece of shit. #nbcnewsfail #fireDeborahTurness

  • ExpectResults

    I was a loyal reader of NBCnews.com and long before when it was MSNBC.com for at least five years.

    I absolutely HATE the new format. Its no longer my home page. Too damned demanding to drill down each frickin’ box to find more stories.

    I’ve got a new news source.. (gasp!) CNN.com

    I want compact, at a glace, news access. This new site sucks!

  • pauseandthink

    New mobile app for IOS is terrible! SLOW, less content (videos from shows). I’m deleting the app and trying another news outlet.

  • Tim

    The worst part of this is that I can no longer get the desktop site on my desktop. The mobile site looks terrible on my 30″ monitor.

  • The Desert Rat

    This re-design is the worst thing ever if you want to see what’s happening in the news. I’m sure not going there for Olympic coverage or anything else. Bye-bye NBCNews website. I’ve moved on.

  • John Maronich

    Hate new design. The old mobile version was easy, intuitive, categorized and now I don’t even know what order the news is in anymore. I could run through the news in 3 minutes and know what articles to read. Now in need to find another site to read news. Disappointing.

  • Renate

    That new website is awful! I have no idea how to navigate through this new web site.
    The world is tough enough, stressful enough, complicated enough and
    there are many other news sites where I don’t need a tutorial on how to
    use it.

  • Alaskanexpat

    Wow, the new NBCNews web site is appallingly awful. Yahoo’s content is already in the toilet, so now I’m down to the BBC. If I wanted to look at pretty pictures — rather than read news — I’d patronize Instagram. The whole point of a news site is to be able to scan a bunch of headlines quickly, then move on to stories you want to read, especially for breaking news. Scanning keeps you in the loop. I don’t want to hunt down stories.

  • AustinTXmom

    me either.. one is trying to find the danged NEWS.. if I want to tailor my news for my city I WILL .. Googl news is 10000% better.. Christian Science monitor.. much better. are we that dumb as adults we need to look at huge pix? I hope the heck not. bye NBC news.

  • AustinTXmom

    it sux, it blows, it’s for people who can’t read.. Pictures for the dumb. I really dislike CNN but I love it now. Are a bunch of 12 year olds running the website.. you can’t FIND a thing … it’s truly horrible.

  • Jim Morgan

    The article is just fawning stenography based on the NBC press release – similar content has appeared on other sites. The author apparently did not himself try the new interface, which from comments at https://www.facebook.com/NBCNews?filter=2# and elsewhere is universally loathed by long-time users. Try to find a positive comment by a user – you will search long and fruitlessly.

  • efishta

    What the heck happened?

    Windows 8 actually wasn’t too bad. It took a bit to get adjusted to the new interface, but once you get to the desktop, you don’t really need to interact with it except for the occasional search or application launch. It also doesn’t have other real alternatives (as in Linux or Mac OS X, at least for my purposes), other than the previous edition Windows 7. Additionally, there are some nice new features and speed improvements across the board on 8/8.1.

    With the nbcnews.com site redesign, there is no way to get back to the old interface. There are also plenty of other alternatives to get news, and there are no improvements than I can see over the previous one. In other words, this is actually much worse than the 7 to 8 transition of MS’s OS.

  • Derby and Ducky

    Yeck! Can’t find what I might be looking for and in a quick scan of headlines. Guess I will patronize other new websites that make it easy on a user, not harder.

  • Lar5

    Nbcnews.com has gone
    from first to last on my list

  • Lar5

    What were they thinking and drinking when the NBCNEWS.com was destroyed? It’s for dumbed down idiots to read. I want a concise quick look and then choose what to read. This defies logic. Oh! well, after 10 plus years my love affair with NBC is over. It’s time to look for pages that are designed for educated adults not morons.

  • Acct_Pre_Deleted

    Windows 8! Exactly!

  • Acct_Pre_Deleted

    HA! I had no idea this was going to happen. To begin with I’m not a mobile user instead access most sites via laptop or PC. About an hour ago I decide to hit NBC News for a check of headlines and top stories and what am I greeted with? BIEBER, a never ending scroll and me trying to figure out where the news went. I gave it my best shot for about 15 minutes but I’m done. My visits to NBC News have been fewer over the last year as I found their ideological slant to become more unnerving, with this development I’m out for good.

  • zanzibar27

    Its an abortion from a user/content perspective. This thing belongs in Toys R Us in the 4 to 6 year old section. I used to be able to scan a couple dozen headlines at once. Now I get Justin Loser and 5 other items I don’t give a rat’s ass about on the home page.

    Complaints all over the internet about it and people are running away. What moron is responsible for spending a YEAR on this project? Some ex-Windows 8 developer?

    Even from a tablet perspective, it SUCKS as a way to present news.

  • Guest

    Its an abortion from a user/content perspective. This thing belongs in Toys R Us in the 4 to 6 year old section. I used to be able to scan a couple dozen headlines at once. Now I get Justin Loser and 5 other items I don’t give a rat’s ass about on the home page.

    Complaints all over the internet about it and people are running away. What moron is responsible for spending a YEAR on this project? Some ex-Windows 8 developer?

  • pdasroo

    Can’t even put into words how terrible and disappointing this website redesign is. NBC News has always been my “go to” site for news. The new site actually gave me a headache. Instead of being able to quickly scan the page for stories that interest me, I am now being force-fed into looking at whatever product the Comcast-NBC-Universal mega corporation wants me to look at. Why are they designing something along the lines of the failed Windows 8? Convergence of mobile and desktop is a huge failure because they are completely different formats and people interact with them in completely different ways. In attempting to design for mobile and desktop, the site fails in both formats. Until they change it, I will not be back.

  • njx

    LOL. This is one of the worst Web sites I’ve ever seen. The reaction on the Web is one of universal loathing.

  • IndyFitz

    HORRIBLE. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Absolutely horrible. After 15 years of patronizing NBC, I’m done. If they can’t be bothered to present an intelligent, usable, clean design with news stories at a glance, and if they insist on assuming that the only thing that matters is mobile, I’m done. Even as a mobile design, I think it sucks. I’m sure people who think that the only thing that matters are their tiny screens will love it, but not me. The appeal for me has always been organized categories with lots of headlines, but I guess reading text is second-rate these days. Big pictures, big boxes… let the fifth-graders revel in it. They lost me without a look back. When are these big companies going to realize that one size NEVER fits all, and you need to have options? People have different tastes. And what works on mobile doesn’t mean it will work for everyone on a big screen… just like a regular site doesn’t generally work on a tiny screen. That’s why there are mobile versions of sites.

    Did I mention it was horrible? HORRIBLE. I first saw a dreadful layout like on Newsweek’s horrible Web site, and I don’t go back there, either.