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April 26, 2014


At the risk of seeming like an apologist for the Statesman Journal, I think the new SJ website is consistent with the newspaper's integration with USA Today. I don't like much of the new USAT look, either, but we're stuck with it.
What I do like is the vastly improved mobile platform for smartphones and tablets. The old mobile app was horrible; the new one is a big improvement.
I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for posting.

I agree. The new site is terrible. But all could be forgiven if the SJ would just add a "quick view" option like Bloomberg's website, a simple list of headlines without all the visual noise. It doesn't get any easier than this:


John... I agree. The SJ mobile platform is much improved. I can read stories on my iPhone much more easily. I will give the SJ credit for that. But mostly I check out the SJ online content via my laptop, and the new design there sucks.

I understand your point about corporate branding. However, local Gannett papers "sell" a local product. This isn't like a Salem Apple store selling Apple products. Supposedly the Statesman Journal is a local newspaper responding to local needs and concerns. Yet its online presence is a clone of USA Today's.

Dan, I like Bloomberg's quick view. The design is similar to how the New York Times does it in its mobile version. List the paper's sections, Sports, Opinion, etc. in a sidebar; click on that and a list of today's stories in that section pops up; click on the story and you get the content. Press buttons to easily go in reverse.

Shouldn't be a big deal for the SJ to add this feature. The paper just needs to realize that many readers want a simple, easy, uncluttered way to find stories -- not a USA Today "Disneyland" of photos, graphics, ads, and extraneous stuff.

One thing about the new site that is irritating is that if you click on "Opinion" at the top you get a page that includes columnists like Capi Lynn and society columnist Mary Louise Van Natta. These trivial columns are not "opinions" in my sense of the term. Even worse, this page does not easily link to guest opinions, as far as I can tell. There is not a link to guest opinions in the navigation bar on the left. Guest opinions are one of my favorite reads in the SJ. I hope they fix this.

OMG. They just took over the Evansville Courier & Press. Same problem. It's amazing that you posted this in 2014 and the same design problems exist in 2016. Not only that, but the Facebook plugin feature for commenting doesn't even work in Safari. The login feature comes back with repeat login screens that never ever let you login. Their design department is challenged at best and their IT department is incompetent.

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