WIRED magazine launches new, redesigned site, first since 2007
Redesigned website follows what WIRED’s director of engineering called an ‘under-the-radar’ migration of blogs into a single WordPress install that took place last year
The Condé Nast tech magazine WIRED today unveiled its new, redesigned website at Wired.com. WIRED’s web efforts go all the way back to 1994 with the launch of Hotwired (see slideshow below).
The new site, like most launched today, takes digital devices into account. On a smartphone, the site looks like a modern news app, responsively moving to a single column format. On a tablet, the site adjust depending on whether the device is in portrait or landscape. On the desktop, though oddly narrow at only 932 pixels wide, the new design features simpler navigation, and according to Scott Dadich, WIERD’s editor in chief, much faster loading times.
“This new WIRED is a more comfortable browsing and reading experience, its stories primed for sharing with friends and colleagues,” Dadich told readers late Sunday afternoon when the site was ready to be unveiled. “But none of that razzle-dazzle matters if you can’t get our pages to load. So we made a significant investment in decluttering and streamlining our code.”
“It’s been a while since our last redesign – 8 years, we sheepishly admit – so this overhaul of our site is long overdue,” the magazine’s director of engineering, Kathleen Vignos, wrote in a post.
“Our redesign is here thanks to a big under-the-radar project in March 2014, when we migrated 17 active WIRED blogs into a single WordPress install. If we did our jobs right, you barely noticed that happen,” Vignos said. “Our design team spent months conceiving a grid system that would look beautiful on any device. To make that system a reality, we turned to Flexbox as part of our responsive solution. We plan to extend it even more post-launch, but so far it’s been a great solve for controlling the layout of our card-based user interface.”
Many new website redesigns get trashed by readers upon unveiling – I doubt that will be the case here. But even if it does, WIRED’s editor seems to have the right attitude towards the new site saying that “we didn’t design the new WIRED to be perfect. We designed it to be perfected.” That’s a good attitude to have going into the launch.
But, unfortunately, many traditional publishers are still obsessed with bringing in outside teams to created complicated new sites that are dependent on inflexible back-end system and structures. I once had a conversation with a vendor about a new website site designed asking what I thought was a very simple question: how do we launch a custom page? He looked at me and asked “why would you ever want to do a think like that.”
Here are some of the archived screenshots WIRED used today in its stories on the new website. The last one shows the new section icons they will be using.