Monday, November 19, 2007

ABCNews.com Re-Redesign: Bigger WAS and IS better


Back in May, I blogged about the strange redesign rationale ABCNews gave for drastically shrinking the height of their homepage. They said they did this for simplicity and ease of use, but the immediate feedback was overwhelmingly the opposite from users. This ended up creating strange behavior with the design components on the homepage because all of the content had to be hidden within small containers. While they are still not as tall as others in the news website space, they have more than tripled the height of the main content of their homepage from 610 back in May to 1984 pixels now. It is really interesting to note that the new design is a lot more like the pre-May design (see image above).

The height has allowed them to provide what people were asking for from the pre-May 2007 website and more. There is a lot of content you can scan through and easily, with not much hidden away under tabs or strange scrolling windows. There is also a much better content-to-advertising ratio.

It is interesting to note that when they came out with the redesign last May, ABCNews.com created a blog about the new design and solicited feedback. I can't find a link anywhere on this new, much larger homepage asking for me feedback. Maybe they've had enough? I did a search and found that mediabistro.com had posted an internal memo regarding the new homepage design:

______________________________________________

From: Westin, David
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 12:36 PM
To: #ABCTV News ALL Subject:ABC News.com

We've had another year of strong growth for .com. The site has seen a 29% increase in unique users and 45% increase in page views for FY07 vs. FY06 monthly averages. We've had more dramatic growth in our video traffic - increases of 73% in the number of unique users viewing our video and a 91% increase in the number of videos viewed. Congratulations to all who work so hard on ABC News.com every day and to so many of you who have made your work available on the site.

As well as we're doing, we can always do better. So, tonight ABCNews.com debuts a re-designed home page intended to make it easier to navigate. This is a further step in our ongoing effort to make our website work better for our users; we'll be taking more steps in the coming weeks and months.

Users gave feedback 13 nanoseconds after the May launch about the problems navigating. Were users giving feedback before May on the navigation? Did it really have to take almost 6 months to go back essentially to what you had from a navigation standpoint? What is the product lifecycle being used here? How are they really listening/not listening to customers?

2 comments:

Marc Rullo said...

This was posted a couple of days before the launch.

Michael Grossman said...

Marc, thanks for sharing this. I was hoping they would post another letter to "us" to compare to the one they posted in May.