New WRAL.com website design launches Wednesday
Posted January 2, 2014
Updated January 5, 2014
Thank you to the thousands of users who have already tried out the new WRAL.com and WRALSportsFan.com sites and offered feedback during our beta release period. Wednesday, we plan to introduce the new design to all users.
We've been busy addressing some of the bug reports, feature requests and feedback we have received in the past several weeks. As with almost any website redesign, users -- especially heavy, long-time users -- need time to adjust to the changes. In addition to this blog, we have added tools to help our visitors adjust:
- We created an interactive tour to step visitors through the new features and navigation. (Note: You have to be on the new design for this link to work.)
- We have added a new WRAL.com Help Center to help answer commonly asked questions. This feature is especially helpful if you are having trouble locating content on the new site.
- We also created a video tour to highlight changes and assist with the transition.
Some users like the new design because it feels more modern and less cluttered. Others like the new navigation. We also have heard from users who say they are having trouble reading some of the headlines. We are testing some other colors for headlines that we think will improve readability.
We also heard from users who missed being able to sort the order of comments on stories, so we restored that functionality. One user noticed that in our new Maps Center, the list of maps was so long that not all map choices were visible, so we now break long lists into two columns.
A few users have reported that the new site has less content. Added white space and reorganization may be contributing to that impression, but rest assured that we have not taken away any content. One of the main objectives was to increase the number of stories visible on the homepage on the initial page load. For most users, that number has increased from three to eight, with variances based on monitor size, screen resolution and browser size.
If you haven't taken the new site for a test drive, we encourage you to do so. Details are in an earlier blogpost. Use the green "Feedback" tab on the right side of the new site to let us know what you think.
Keep an eye on this blog in the coming weeks for posts about specific enhancements that can be found on the new site.