Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nashville | Cleaner, easier-to-navigate site debuts

The Tennessean is the latest of the U.S. dailies to adopt the new website template s-l-o-w-l-y rolling out across Gannett. In a column today, Editor Mark Silverman says the paper's digital staff "worked with our colleagues at Gannett Digital and a design firm that has helped sites such as CNN shape their approaches. They simplified the site's look, organization and navigation in ways that respond to much of the feedback you have provided during the past year."

Other recent adopters: The Desert Sun at Palm Springs, Calif., and The Des Moines Register.

Has your site launched the new template? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. OK. Great. It's "cleaner" but just like all of the wonderful print design "experts" over the decades, they completely ignore advertising.

  2. What should have been done for advertising that wasn't?

  3. Despite what people want to claim, there are no print design experts. Have any of these plans ever accomplished their goals? Nooooooooooo.

  4. Looking at, there's one less advertising position than our old site. I've seen nothing across the top of the home page, absolutely prime (valuable) placement.

    If we are to believe that the web is the future and our revenues derived from advertising, not readers, we need to focus on what builds that revenue. A leaderboard buried at the bottom of the page, several 'scrolls' down - will never be seen if content is at all noteworthy.

    An inch at the top takes away little space for content yet still has a value to advertisers - like yours Jim. And like yours, a three-inch block at the bottom of the page doesn't get any clickthrus - though they get the same page views. People won't click if they have to scroll endlessly just to see what the ad is.

    NYTimes has five advertiser points, IndyStar has three, and USAToday has two "above the fold" on their home page. Who has the strongest content, who has the most widespread readership - and who isn't relying on house ads to fill those slots?

  5. The background on the new sites are too white. The type is gray... which is hard to read especially against the white background. Clicking on the stories gets you black type and larger type which I do like. Cleaner... yes but not very exiting. I spend much less time on our own website now.

  6. Gannett's previous sites looked like pro-wrestling fliers, jammed with overwrought ads and promotional refers. They were tiring to view for very long.

    Simply cramming another ad on a Web page doesn't mean that anyone will look at it. The fact is, most of the Web audience is very adept at ignoring banners. And it has become evident that clutter doesn't sell.

    Incorporating fewer ad positions increases the likelihood that readers actually will look at the ads that remain.

    Odyssey seems based on testing and focus groups, rather than just one designer's personal taste.

    That's a good thing.

  7. I refuse to visit any Gannett website until they get rid of their obnovious practice of shoving pop-up and pop-under ads in my face. Very few legitimate sites use this type of ad anymore, because they know viewers hate them with a passion. Gannett apparently hasn't gotten the memo. Fortunately, there is a competing paper in my area that provides all the local news I would normally get from the Gannett paper, minus the pop-ups, pop-unders, roll-over expansions that cover up the story I'm trying to read, and typos.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.