Times-Picayune retools NOLA.com home page to deal with complaints


The Times-Picayune has revamped its home page to deal with complaints about readability and usability, including difficulty in finding the major stories of the day. The previous version of the home page was dominated by a continuous stream of stories; the new one features certain stories like most other news sites. Other changes have been made to fit more stories on the screen and make the site easier to read, wrote Editor Jim Amoss.

From Amoss' description, it sounds like the top stories module will be updated three times a day. Right now, for instance, the home page says "The Afternoon Report." He writes:

Check the site each morning for the stories you won't want to miss before starting your day. Check back later in the day for breaking news and continuing coverage of the stories you need most. Check back in the evening for a recap of the day's most important developments in news, sports and entertainment.

The new home page for NOLA.com: muted colors and top stories on the home page.

In a May 10 blog post announcing NOLA.com's then-new home page, the newspaper heralded its "bold colors, less clutter and new ways to find the stories and features you care about fast." The bright, yellow background didn't go over well; three weeks later the newspaper changed to a "gentler, more muted color palette of grey and blue that we hope you'll find easier on the eyes."

The new palette, Amoss writes, is "drawn from the unique shades of our city's historic houses and buildings." (He notes that it was designed by "a native New Orleanian.")

People complained about the jarring yellow color introduced in early May; the company replaced it with gray and blue after a few weeks.

Advance Publications newspapers tend to use the same template; other newspapers either use the old template or the one that New Orleanians complained about, which is being rolled out across the company.

Earlier: New Orleans’ tech crowd unimpressed by NOLA.comHow the digital divide developed in New Orleans & what that means for the future of news thereWhy The Times-Picayune should invest in kiosks for New Orleans.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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