Newspaper Website Redesign

The idea of redesigning websites is nothing new. As technology changes, many companies will find an endless well of ideas to implement onto their websites.

When publications started going online, many newspapers sat back and held onto hope that the old way of presenting news through print would remain the most dominant, but they were wrong.

Several newspapers on the East End of Long Island rushed to have websites created to present their news on. Many still focused on print as the main medium while others began to take a digital first approach, that allowed reporters to post stories to the web quickly, update them on an as-needed basis, and mold them into a print version within seven days, but with a fresh take on the story.

For this project, I chose to look into one publication’s site — Riverhead Local — and find a way to redesign it so users would have the best experience possible.

In doing so, I developed a survey to reach out to the residents of the towns of Riverhead and Southold, which serves. That was just the start of the design phase.  I also developed an interview method to get information from the residents and conducted a card sorting exercise to put together the best top navigation bar.

In addition to surveys and car sorting, I also created a diary study to allow participants to be part of the study over time as well as a usability study that had three participants complete five simple tasks on the current site while I watched.

The consensus of all the studies was that it was time to update the website.

In the end, the goal of the website is to keep readers on there and try to prevent them from leaving to one of the other 11 sites on the East End that provide news coverage in the area.