Back in February, NBCNews.com relaunched with a new look, improved back-end technology, and a goal of “tearing down the walls that traditionally have divided TV and digital.”
Just six months later, the network’s digital homepage has another new look. The goal this time is to improve the user experience.
“We found that audience was looking for more scannable headlines, greater density [more stories on the homepage], and a faster load time on the homepage,” Gregory Gittrich, head of NBC News Digital’s news and product unit tells TVNewser.
The changes stem from user surveys on a test site. “We’ll be using preview.nbcnews.com going forward to try new things and share new ideas. It’s not going away. Whenever we test new things, we’ll ask the audience to weigh in, to look at the feedback, to measure the data, and then we’ll decide based on that whether to roll out a new feature or to launch a new product.”
From January through June, unique visitor traffic to NBCNews.com is down -12% (43,024,000 in January vs. 38,256,000 in June) according to Comscore. NBC News cites a gradual loss in referral traffic from Microsoft portal MSN. Microsoft and NBC parted ways two years ago. The audience split even more when MSNBC.com and NBCNews.com launched unique sites. (MSNBC.com had been the online home of both NBC News and MSNBC cable.)
Gittrich expects an even greater traffic decline later this week when July’s traffic numbers are finalized and MSN referrals to NBCNews.com come to an end. But Gittrich says the addition of original video has been a boon to the site. Video views are up +249% since January. The network also notes visitors are staying on the site longer and engaging more with content.