Update: Since we launched our newly designed site, at 11;30 p.m. Tuesday, we have heard back from many readers with largely very positive feedback — “beautiful,” “sick,” and “professional” are just three words used to describe it — and people are loving how mobile-friendly it is. One big ask from our readers, however, has been whether we could put date-stamps on our homepage stories. Never let it be said we don’t listen carefully to our community: the deed is done, and front-page stories now include bylines and date-stamps!
Original story: Notice something different?
After several years of wanting to do a comprehensive redesign of Berkeleyside, we are excited to launch our brand-new look today.
The redesign was prompted by a number of factors — all of which aim to make the experience of reading Berkeleyside more enjoyable for our readers. First, we felt the site had outgrown the “reverse chronology” blog format. When we have important news, it made no sense to see it knocked down the page by something that was comparatively minor, but more recent. Our new look is much more akin to a traditional newspaper website, with lead stories at the top, and all stories organized by their category, be it arts, real estate, crime, food (Nosh) or community, among others.
Second, in the last 12 months, 50% of visits to Berkeleyside have been made using either a mobile phone or tablet. The experience for those readers, to be frank, was, until today, poor. Berkeleyside’s new design, by our long-time collaborator Doug Ng, has been created mobile-first, which means reading our reporting on your phone should now be a pleasure rather than a chore.
We’re confident you’ll find our new site a better experience whatever device you use. The new design provides easy access to our different categories of coverage so you can drill down into the subjects that interest you most. We’ve also redesigned Nosh, our comprehensive coverage of East Bay food and drink. There’s also an array of editorial bells and whistles with the new design: better use of photos and videos, and new ways to show supplementary information.
If you’re already missing the chronological publishing order, and are worried you’ll miss any of our stories, don’t panic. You can click on Today’s News in the bar at the top of the homepage. The big lead story and the stories in the the Top Stories section on the homepage are our most recent stories. (If you’re looking at the site on a mobile device, it’s easy: the top story is the most recent.) To be sure never to miss a new Berkeleyside story, sign up for our Daily Briefing email, which pulls together all of the day’s stories, our News Alert email, which we send out only for important or breaking stories, and Nosh Weekly, which brings you the past week’s top food and drink articles. Sign up for one or all of these free newsletters.
We expect the changes will be disconcerting for some readers. Having weathered redesigns with other sites, magazines and newspapers, our advice is this: Give it a few days. We’re eager to hear your reactions when you’ve had a chance to get used to the new look. Email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep all your feedback in one place.
The redesign is also the most visible fruit so far of our ambitious development plans for Berkeleyside, made possible in part both by our 1,200 Berkeleyside members, and by the 162-and-counting readers who have invested in our journalism through our direct public offering. Thank you for your support over the past seven years. We have more exciting steps to take and couldn’t take them without our engaged community of readers.