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Duluth News Tribune website redesign

The DNT’s new website rollout seems to be going exceedingly well. Day three …

21 Comments

Joel

about 6 years ago

Not so sure, my wife has been ranting that the temperature doesn't post anymore and that the new layout has a lot more ads. Why the change anyway?

BadCat!

about 6 years ago

Hrm, I find it a bit overwhelming (just a wall of text and ads), not a border or line as far as the eye can see.

Also, they scrapped their individual RSS feeds, which is annoying, as that's how I get all of my info from them.

BadCat!

about 6 years ago

Also, it's rude to change your RSS feeds without giving notice first on your old RSS feeds. Just sayin'.

adam

about 6 years ago

Have been getting database errors for the past three days on and off.

spy1

about 6 years ago

Imagine how pissed you'd be if you had to pay for your news.

Joel

about 6 years ago

Hey! I do pay for my news! I'm a 7 day a week DNT subscriber!

Derek Montgomery

about 6 years ago

The new design is great.  On mobile, it's much easier to read and as a photographer, it's nice to see large photos that are beyond 550 pixels wide.

Anytime you transition to a new website from one that you've been using for almost six years, there are going to be hiccups.  I'm a Mac user and have seen zero issues thus far, which is pretty incredible considering how difficult transitions like this can be.

Why the change?  Mobile traffic is probably one reason.  Most newspapers are seeing a majority of their traffic coming from mobile so that's where the focus should be.

Kodiak

about 6 years ago

Visually pleasing, contemporary, stylish.  Is DNT the only Forum publication to get the refit?  Fargo Forum still has the old template - very tired.  Hated the News button on the old DNT - it downloaded the same stories page after page and was very slow to load. One gripe - if you wish to "share" a story by email, you only get the choice of Gmail or Yahoo mail so I've got to copy n paste the URL into my Hotmail now.  Not a high price to pay for free, unltd access.

Derek Montgomery

about 6 years ago

If it was anything like the last time they rolled out the new design, it will not be across all papers at once.  Back when the last version was launched, the DNT was one of the first, if not the first, to take on the new design.  My guess is that developers will see what issues the DNT site experiences and take that back to the other sites and make changes.

akjuneau

about 6 years ago

To address some of the issues raised here:

- Getting the temperature / weather to show up atop the home page has been a problem but it should be there as of this morning.

- There were many reasons for the change, two big ones being 1.) a better experience for readers using mobile devices, and 2.) a much-needed upgrade in the behind-the-scenes infrastructure of the site. The old design was built on a framework that was really out-of-date and unadaptable.

- I'm not sure what's up with the RSS feeds but I'll ask the developers.

- Some readers have been getting errors but it seems to be diminishing with each passing day as browsers / caches clear and/or update. I'm sure there is a more tech-savvy was to address that question, but I come from a news background, not a tech background, so my apologies.

- I'll ask about the e-mail sharing, and whether other options can be added.

- All the Forum papers have received or will receive a version of the new design. We've benefited from other papers that have gone first and helped refine it - and now we're providing feedback. It's a work in progress.

There certainly are glitches to be addressed, but we're doing our best to fix them. I'll try to monitor comments here and address them if I can, but it's been a pretty hectic few days. If anyone has questions / comments about the new site the best way to contact us is sending an e-mail to [email protected]

Thanks for reading, for your feedback and for your patience during the transition-

Andrew Krueger, News Tribune

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

I haven't experienced any problems, other than the RSS feed dying out.

I think the new look is a modest improvement. If you look back over the years, each change is a slight progression, but from 14 years ago to now is a pretty big leap. 

March 16, 2014



Feb. 28, 2014 

(Some images will be missing from these older screenshots because they are from the Wayback Machine and not the original source.)



March 19, 2011 



March 14, 2009



March 20, 2004



Nov. 22, 2002



June 18, 2000



Making websites look good across all platforms and load properly on all browsers is a major chore. We're due for an upgrade at PDD, but it's not going to be tackled super soon. We've been using the same theme for five years, but have made numerous small changes to it. Whenever we find a new way to improve the mobile experience it turns out to be junk and we end up re-instituting the desktop version. But enough about that; we can introduce that topic separately on another post when we get serious about changing things around here.

Claire

about 6 years ago

The magazine I write for, we have to add images to every story we run in the electronic newsletters, because Facebook will just grab a random image if we don't.

emmadogs

about 6 years ago

I really like the new format, and it loads to the iPad now, whereas it was hit and miss before.

By the way, I had missed the 2/28/14 article about the 'man living off the grid' that is in Paul's illustrative post.  Great article.

Kodiak

about 6 years ago

Re: Email sharing. Thank you, Andrew. Just a reflection on my comment. The old site would enclose the narrative in the email and the recipients often just read the text delivered therewith. They didn't click on the link to the DNT webpage and therefore didn't benefit from photos or related links.

Perhaps the benefit of the new email/share feature is that it channels recipient readers to the DNT website increasing hits and potential viewers/readers/audience, which can't be a bad thing!

Aldin

about 6 years ago

I really hate this trend in web design that thinks a slide show of the headlines powered by some junky javascript is a good way to display information.  It's not, it's a complete waste of time, bandwidth, and screen real estate.  96% of the time the images are completely pointless and add little or nothing to the headline.  They change too slowly so I end up clicking a damn arrow button five or six times just to read the goddamn headlines.  So I skip the horrid front page and go straight to duluthnewstribune.com/news.

I will give the web designers credit for not adding one of those horrible hovering menu bars at the top of the page that are so popular these days.

We are entering the dark age of web 3.0, god have mercy on our browsers.

akjuneau

about 6 years ago

I've been told by the developers that RSS feeds should still be there, and that this is the address for a feed of DNT news stories: 

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/rss/rss.xml

"News" in the address can be swapped out with sports, business, opinion, wave, etc. - any of the tabs atop the home page - depending on what you want to see.

Not an RSS user here - just the messenger - so let me know if that doesn't work.

Rae

about 6 years ago

I'm having issues getting the DNT Mobile site to download new stories/content.  Mine is still showing the leading article as "Mission accomplished:  Northland musher Nathan Schroeder talks about finishing Iditarod."

Maybe I need to re-add the shortcut?

akjuneau

about 6 years ago

There's no longer a separate mobile site (at least, not one that is being updated with new content). The new design serves desktop computers and mobile devices. Add a shortcut / bookmark to www.duluthnewstribune.com

Rij

about 6 years ago

I don't remember seeing stuff like this before.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Another problem I'm just noticing is if I use the search tool it only shows results for stories from before the redesign.

Rae

about 6 years ago

Ahhhh - thanks akjuneau!

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