The widely-panned nbcnews.com website redesign from February 2014 is getting a facelift—after a really bad facelift!
You read it here first. In my previous article highlighting the flop redesign of nbcnews.com, I excoriated the horrible design misfire and left it at that. In private conversation, I told friends how such a bad user experience was going to impact their reader stats negatively. Well, the numbers are in:
The nbcnews.com website was already declining when the silly redesign was launched in February. They had a functional site, but the hyper-partisan cheerleading, I mean news reporting, was the real issue behind their decline in the first place. The overly-picturesque giant-comic-book redesign effort, which was an attempt at a branding turnaround, simply hastened the continued decline in visitors because it was simply unreadable as a source of news. Apparently, some Very Smart People™ at nbcnews.com thought mixing partisan news, coloring books, and Flickr, would equal a turnaround in the decline of their viewership. It did not work.
So how does the new design look, which is available for the moment in a preview opt-in section of the site? In a word, improved:
There are now 17+ story links above the fold, and a full suite of site navigation tools to quickly get you some place else. And if you flip to a mobile device, you get a very-workable no-nonsense sans-comic-book layout and typographic treatment (hidden pun in there, for sharp-readers only).
The mobile view looks good too:
Overall, we can see it’s very much a work in progress, but progress in the right direction.
What about Search? Let’s quote my previous post on this:
“BTW: Don’t even click “Search” unless YOU ARE READY FOR SOME SERIOUS SEARCHING! WOOHOO!
You clicked “Search”, didn’t you. You were warned.”
Hopefully they’ll fix that search box before the real site goes live :).
In the meantime, if you want a ton of news in a legible format, try Real Clear Politics (for desktop) or the Real Clear Politics app (for mobile). You’ll get a cross-section of headlines from all major news outlet in a cohesive, news-focused UI that knows what it is trying to do.