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From the Editors

A Year in the Life of a Redesign

A Year in the Life of a Redesign

One year ago, we started talking ourselves out of redesigning The Morning News. Over the past 10 years of publishing this magazine, we’ve redesigned enough to know it’s an undertaking best left until you’ve got good reasons.

Even then, better to ignore the reasons than enter months of mockups, head-to-wall banging, interminable revisions, and the inevitable trip to the Genius Bar, bruised laptop in hand.

Instead, we peered into the safety of our phones and—why not—loaded up our site. We zoomed in to read a tiny portion of the homepage, and zoomed some more. So much zooming.

That began a conversation that lasted the next 12 months—and will likely go on for much longer. How do we use the web, and specifically, websites, now? Where do we use them? Since we redesigned last, how has our appetite changed for what we want to publish?

After a year of thinking and talking, this is our answer.

A homepage that unifies the TMN reader experience into two content streams, features and headlines—no more scanning the page to find the latest updates. Throughout the site, a slimmer layout that's durable across multiple platforms: your computer, your phone, and your (if not now, then someday) tablet. Plus an overall navigation and site structure that brings 10 years of archives to the surface; strong type families that combine to make a statement; and all of it served in a usable, unfussy format that feels fresh every single day.

About six months ago, we realized: We are going to need a bigger boat. We asked Jason Santa Maria of Mighty to lead the campaign. He brought together a crack team of web specialists: Trent Walton and Dave Rupert of Paravel and Matt Weinberg and Andrew Kaslick of Vector Media Group. Our thanks to them for working with us to create the new TMN.

In addition to the new look, and an extraordinary publishing engine behind the scenes, you'll see a number of new site features.

  • New headlines subscriptions. In addition to our headlines RSS, now you can follow @TMNheadlines to get all of our headlines inside your Twitter feed. We've also added email subscriptions should you wish to receive our headlines in your inbox.
  • #hashtags. Throughout the site you'll see we’ve embraced hashtags big-time. At the top of the site, at the bottom of every article and gallery, and within the headlines. They join the site into a larger experience—and over the next couple weeks, we’ll be tagging all of our archives so you can find that great story we published six years ago, when you were in 7th grade.
  • Weekend headlines. In addition to twice-a-day batches, starting this weekend we're adding a Saturday morning edition, for those lazy weekend mornings or afternoons when you’re looking for something great.

 

But the biggest change we’re excited to begin sharing with you is how we can publish our features: more beautifully and with greater flexibility, and that’s all thanks to Jason, Trent, Dave, Matt, and Andrew for their tireless efforts and guidance; Paul Ford for his constant inspiration, ideas, and unpaid therapy; the entire TMN cast and crew for creating those things you come here to enjoy; and most of all you, our readers.

After a year of imagining and working and rebuilding, the relaunch party starts now. Cue soundtrack.

Thank you,
Andrew & Rosecrans
Co-founders, The Morning News

 

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