TO: Peter Bhatia (email@example.com), Jerry Casey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FROM: Brian Hines
RE: New York Times is kicking the Oregonian's ass
Mr. Bhatia and Mr. Casey, you are the Editor and Director of Digital Operations for the Oregonian, our state's largest newspaper.
However, I hold out hope that one day, perhaps, just maybe, I will actually be able to read the newspaper that I pay to get seven days a week but can only read on four -- since Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday the Oregonian isn't delivered to my rural south Salem home, and is only available online.
Where it is, to put the matter succinctly, unreadable. At least, without way more effort than I and many others are willing to put into navigating a horribly designed MyDigitalO.
I also pay $15 a month for a New York Times digital subscription. Here's a suggestion: do whatever you can to make the online Oregonian look, feel, and function like the NYT new Today's Paper web app.
MyDigitalO look, feels, and functions like crap, comparatively.
Here's how Today's Paper looks today. It opens as a web page in my Safari browser. I can easily scroll through the lengthy Nelson Mandela story on my MacBook Pro, something I can't do with MyDigitalO. Other front page stories are accessible with a click in the left column.
Scrolling down that left column, I find the other New York Times sections. Not as a virtually unreadable replica of the print newspaper like the online Oregonian is -- as a tidy, neat, easily read digital version of the NYT, the content pleasantly displayed for easy online perusal.
Clicking on National or International presents me with story headlines, as Front Page did. Choosing one of these opens it in the right reading column.
Wonder of wonders! So simple. So intuitive. So unlike the frustratingly unpleasant MyDigitalO.
Look: I understand that the Oregonian isn't the New York Times.
But nothing prevents you from walking in the digital footsteps of the NYT. I find it hard to believe that, with all of the software design talent here in Oregon, it isn't possible for you to make the online version of your newspaper as readable as the NYT Today's Paper is.
I want to return to enjoying the Oregonian seven days a week, not just four.
Please: seriously consider revamping your digital newspaper to look a lot more like the New York Times, and a lot less like what you are foisting on subscribers now.