Chicago Tribune launches new, attractive, if annoying website
The Chicago Tribune has launched a new website, patterned off the same website redesign already implemented at the Los Angeles Times. If you think this is repeating old news it is because it has been less than three years since the last ChiTrib website redesign.
I hated that redesign as it was in the school of thought that less is more when it comes to news sites. One one major story could be seen “above the fold” and utility was sacrificed on the alter of modernity.
The new design is an improvement in that it adds a navigation menu on the left side of the home page to assist readers. The home page still remains barren of news stories. In fact, on a giant monitor, there is actual zero headlines that are visible. Somehow, the paper has gone from displaying few news stories to displaying none.
If cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices, the Chicago Tribune’s new site is an ad delivery device as readers this morning will have to deal with expanding ads and pop-ups throughout the site.
But the website really isn’t designed for the desktop anyways, as the paper admits.
“During 18 months of development, we re-imagined every aspect of chicagotribune.com to create the optimal digital experience for you. We zeroed in on how you want to encounter the news in ways that are revealing, surprising, useful and engaging,” wrote Gerould Kern, Editor of the Trib.
“And it is especially suited for your tablet, smartphone or other mobile device, automatically adapting the content to fit each screen.”
In other words, the new site using responsive design.
Readers will probably respond favorably to the site, the addition of the menu does make the redesign worthwhile.
But the paper’s problems go far beyond its website, of course. In less than a week, the Tribune Company will finalize the spin off of its newspaper properties into Tribune Publishing. The new newspaper company, which also includes The Sun in Baltimore and the Sun Sentinel in Orlando, will be in debt and still paying money to its parent company once the spin off is completed. Although the company recently said it would be buying papers rather than selling them, where it will get the money for such acquisitions is an open question.