The shock of the new [2]

Thanks for all your comments on my previous post – this has been a good discussion and it should continue. Let me comment on some – not all – of the things that have been raised so far.

The logo: Some of you like the new one, some like the old one, some want a new one. Masha has offered to create one – let’s see what she comes up with. We’ll also need a square version of the logo (maybe just the letters LS) for Facebook and elsewhere.

Slogan: This appears at the moment above the languages, but I will move it to below the logo, as before.

Making the middle column more prominent: I agree it would be a good idea to focus attention on the main news headlines – but if we make this column wider, it also becomes shorter – leaving a lot of white space underneath. It also means the photos in the left and right columns become smaller. We could try a two-column format, or other ways to draw attention to this column. Let’s try out a few things.

Non-English versions: The English language version is quite different from most of the other languages (French comes close) and obviously the new design will not introduce radical changes into how the other languages work. If they don’t have a top priority news story like English, then this part of the site obviously won’t exist.

Labelling the columns: ‘Breaking news’ is not a good title – this is actually our ‘Top global news’.

Highlighting additional news stories from a country: We can bold face and change colour for this so people can see more clearly that there’s a lot more news for this country.

Missing menu bar: There will be one, but the bottom of the page, not on the left or right columns. This is where we can put a number of the most important links — for example:

  • Correspondent sign-in on front page: This will appear somewhere, but probably not at the top of the page. (On the current home page, it’s buried in the mess of links on the left side.)
  • Invitation to become new correspondents: Our experience shows that very few people click on this — we tend to get new correspondents because we ask people to sign up after they’ve submitted news. Nevertheless, we can add a link in the bottom menu.
  • Newsletter signup: Our experience has been that very, very few people join our mailing list because of a link or a form on our home page; they nearly all come via the campaigns. But I can include a link with some other essential ones.

A WordPress theme?: This has been raised before by Andy and it’s not really appropriate, in my view. WordPress is a content management system – an excellent one which I have used many times to create union websites. (It’s even the system used for this blog.) But we don’t need a content management system — we already have one. In fact, we have several, all purpose-built for us. What we need is an attractive framework and while WordPress Themes offer these, it’s over-kill. There also many HTML themes available which we can use.

Written by admin in: Site redesign |

1 Comment »

  • My main point was the absence of a clearly defined purpose, same goes for the actual design. We (or at least I) spend more time linking to articles in the privately-owned commercial press (+FB, etc.) than from unions themselves. Some of these articles are actually hostile to unions.
    I think we need to clearly say that we can and want to publish union news and invite them to do so, even if this means checking before publishing their stuff or even translating a few lines.

    WordPress MU could be a tool for this whilst offering an easy way to publish for unions everywhere but in particular, countries where they are subjected to censorship, official or not. Something else we could valorize and at limited cost…

    If this project goes ahead, when will we get top stories in French?

    Comment | February 25, 2013

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