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Posts Tagged ‘redesign’

Ebony’s Bold, Vibrant Website Redesign

Ebony logo

If I could think of one word to describe the changes with Ebony in the last few years, it would be evolutionary.

In 2009, the magazine’s parent company Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) was rumored to be on the verge of financial collapse. In 2010, JPC sold their historic Chicago headquarters, named Amy DuBois Barnett as editor-in-chief, launched an iPad app to celebrate their 65th anniversary, and hired former White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers as CEO of JPC. 2011 marked more big changes for Ebony, including releasing another iPad app, appointing Kierna Mayo as editorial director, digital, and tapping former ESQUIRE art director Darhil Crooks to completely revamp the print magazine’s design from cover-to-cover. (Crooks is now Creative Director at Ebony.)

Now, Ebony has debuted their new website redesign which complements and strengthens the magazine’s visual theme while bringing the brand into the 21st century.

Ebony Magazine Homepage
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Andy Rutledge’s New York Times Design Vision Comes To Life As WooTheme WordPress Theme

You may remember when designer Andy Rutledge challenged The New York Times to rethink its news design approach by proposing his own innovative design (and the stir it caused on Twitter). Now that design is a reality thanks to WooThemes, the premium WordPress theme developers, who purchased the rights to his design and released it as a theme called Currents.

A few features of the design:

  • Fully responsive design. This means that no matter the browser size or device, the design adapts to the screen to give users the optimum visual experience. Read more about The Boston Globe’s implementation of this concept.
  • Featured posts slider. A rotating slider to highlight your best content.
  • Big, beautiful story photos. At the story level, photos are displayed full width.
  • Custom news areas. Recent news, featured category, related news.
  • Author profiles. In a design tailored toward publishers, Woo Themes developers say they’ve , “put an extra effort in to make it easy to have multiple authors, with a custom author page template and custom author widget.” Author pages come baked with social features, too! Read more

Fake New York Times Redesign Gets Torn To Pieces On Twitter

Design professional Andy Rutledge may have bitten off more than he could chew by trying to address the “broken design” of news websites.

In  a blog post that outlines all the problems with The New York Times’ design, Rutledge makes bold claims like, “It is hard to believe that the Times, or any other similar publication, actually cares about the news when they treat it with this sort of indignity.”

So what he proposes is his own rendition of what a section front should look like — and journalists on Twitter, especially from the publication under scrutiny, weren’t feeling it.

And, really, they’re right. It’s hard to take seriously a design that completely ignores the constraints of a typical newspaper, or as Ryan Sholin mentioned, “Boy, it sure is easy to redesign a news site without any regard for advertising, performance, or politics. But so much fun!” Because, really, couldn’t we all whip together something glorious and beautiful if we weren’t constrained by practical needs within the newsroom?

Former New York Times developer who worked there for seven years, Michael Donohoe, rebuttaled the assumptions in Rutledge’s redesign through a post on Hacker News.

To Rutledge’s statement that digital news and news in general are broken, Donohoe wrote:

No its not. The business model is broken. Print is declining. Online revenue is being experimented with. Could be better, could be much worse.

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