Redesign round-up: The New York Times

nytredesignThe New York Times launched a redesigned home page yesterday, with Multimedia and Video high enough on the page to make me happy, and a cute little “Most Popular” tabbed box that includes the stories getting e-mailed and blogged the most, as well as the top search terms on the site.
It gets better. Click on an article, then scroll down to the bottom of the story, and you’ll find direct links to “Related Blogs,” as well as related stories (although anything older than a few days is hidden behind the Times Select paywall) and searches on the keywords from the story.
I was about to moan and groan that even after buying Blogrunner, the company behind the Annotated New York Times, the redesigned site hadn’t started self-annotating. Of course, I would prefer the blog links to be a little more high profile. Hey Mr. Apcar, how about creating a little logo bug for the “NYT Annotations” and placing those “related blog” headlines a little higher up on the page, a la WashingtonPost.com. Take a look at this article on trends in Internet traffic and notice how easy it is to find the blogs. Then again, my eye is drawn to the familiar little green Technorati logo.

The most intriguing link on the new NYT site is right on top of the page, just to the right of the “Home Page” button. It’s the one that says “My Times.”

Whoa. That looks like a New York Times personal homepage, or maybe an aggregator, or more likely, a memetracker. The tagline is “Where the best minds in journalism help you edit the Web.” Hmm. Interesting. You can even sign up for the beta to be notified when the service goes live. How very Web 2.0.

More along these lines:

  • Khoi Vinh, a web designer for the NYTimes who came on board after the redesign was already underway, gives some details about the operation.
  • Anil Dash of blog software compant Six Apart writes that the new NYT borrows from blog layout, including the new 1024 pixel width.
  • Mike Arrington of TechCrunch is patiently awaiting the arrival of blog content published directly on newspaper sites.
  • Dave Winer isn’t impressed“…because it ignores most that has been learned about reading news on a computer screen, and instead models the front page of the print pub. Not a good use of the screen, it ignores the fact that they can produce a new document for each user every time they visit.”
  • Steve Outing says the new width on the NYT site means it’s finally time to ditch your outdated monitor and upgrade to a higher resolution. Amen to that. I fought this change early this semester at the Daily, but then quickly saw the Knight Ridder sites and CNN both stretch out their pages. Seriously, even the cheapest of cheap monitors these days should be able to handle 1024-pixel-wide pages. (Note to self: Should this blog page get wider?)
  • And finally, James Cramer writes this week in New York Magazine that the Times should ditch the print edition entirely and go all-digital.

    “That’s right. It should abandon newsprint and force everyone to the Web. It should make a stand against Google, using its About.com division—something with real growth, and which is actually working out despite the $410 million in debt taken down to buy the thing—to lead the way. Maybe it should even take the revolutionary step of blocking Google from accessing its content, something no one else is willing to do. Or maybe it should at least say, “This is the deal: You want our stuff, you must share much more with us than you are willing to share with others.” It is worth it to preserve value for the future, to make it so our kids don’t think, Let me go to Google for all the news that’s fit to print. Heck, in another couple of years they won’t even know that the New York Times exists as anything but private-label news source for an Internet portal.”

What would your dream newspaper homepage look like? (And with that, I admit that I daydream about this sort of thing. Sigh.)