New design for the UKrant

Every day, the editorial staff at the UKrant wonders: What are we writing about, why are we writing about it, and how are we writing about it? A look behind the scenes.

A little over two years ago, we launched the current UKrant website, using a design featuring what we in the newsroom call the banner (the large photo at the top) and tiles (the small picture-and-text blocks).

Two years might not seem like a long time, but in the online world, where insights are faster than light, websites can quickly become out of date. A website’s lifespan is no more than two or three years.

The current UKrant website was approaching its best before date and so we have started to implement several changes, without messing up the look and feel too much.

Anyone who reads our mobile website wouldn’t have noticed, since there’s barely any difference there. But anyone who reads our website on a PC, laptop, or tablet (approximately 50 percent of our total visitors) will potentially have noticed: since Monday, the homepage is wider and has more room for news tiles.

We used to have a rather static column on the right which was mainly used for advertisements, service, and announcements. This column is now part of the news website, which is more dynamic through the addition of the third column. We can put the most important and latest news front and centre on the page, which means our readers don’t have to scroll as much. In old-fashioned newspaper terms, this would be called ‘above the fold’. Advertisers have also been given a better position in this new style.

There are also other changes coming. We’re working on more variation on the homepage, by prioritising news and background stories (by giving them bigger tiles). Our links to related articles will become clearer, and we’ll also start suggesting other pieces you might like to read. To be clear: we’re keeping the abovementioned design using the banner and tiles.

We decided on a slow, gradual facelift. We will implement the changes step by step over the next few weeks. It will take a while because changes like these are more complicated than they might seem.

In the end, the website will look different but feel the same.

Rob Siebelink, editor-in-chief UKrant



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