Friday, March 09, 2007

What people are saying about the new Web site

I have to tell you, I got a lot of comments on our new site. Most of them were favorable and many offered really good criticisms.
Thanks to everyone who wrote -- and called, too.
Please keep me posted. We want it to be the best newspaper site in the history of the world. OK, well how about: We want it to be your FAVORITE newspaper Web site.
We have taken care of some of the glitches and are working on the rest.
Anyway, thought you'd be interested in seeing what some of the people are saying -- and you are still invited to weigh in. (I'm leaving out the names but if you want people to know you were responsible for any of these, please leave a comment.)

"The Chronicle “on Demand” ad on the website looks really bad. It looks like it’s the wrong size."

"I didn' t see today's date on the new web site."
Note: It has been or will be added.

"Your new website is impressive. My wife likes to sit down at night and read your paper, but I like to read this when I get to work. The videos are a great addition. "

"I did see the dates are updated on the obits ---- but I don't
like the way they are displayed. I don't think all the info
is listed about the person."

"Good stuff , as always CT is ahead of the game."

"Truthfully, I liked the previous website, where you had a brief description under each local news story listed, for example."

"I would most definitely like to see the Community Links link return to this new look web site. I used it quite a bit."
Note: It has been or will be put under the "Miscellaneous" tab.

"I miss seeing your logo and date as the web site opens. I also liked the sentence or two along with each local headline (Those are the ones I read the most often.) which make it easier to determine if this is an article with new information that I want to delve deeper into."

"So far I love the new website. I even like it better than the Journal's site.
Why is it that you no longer post pictures in your obituary column? If it is in the newspaper why can't it also be online?
I live in Florida 4 months every year and count on your online paper to give me the latest news."

"Well, I just sent you an email commenting on how I like your new website when I ran into my first problem. I tried to forward an email to a friend and it keeps coming back Fatal error."
Note: This should have been resolved.

"Great job on the new web site. It looks neat and very organized. Congratulations, it's something you can be proud of."

"I like the new site. It's nice to see a truly custom site and not a shared site like The Journal uses.
Some thoughts:
For the videos you should let users know they will taken out of the chronicle site. Could confuse users. You may want to consider embedding the videos within your site.
Also the font I think could be a little heavier seems a little more spaced out than it needs to be.
And the orange arrows to the left of each article are a little too similar to RSS feeds (unless they are RSS feeds).

"I absolutely LOVE the new web site! As important to me as the news of home is, the photographs are very special too. Sometimes they'll jog a memory of a place I'd forgotten all about or help me to visualize where the article is taking place. The slideshow is wonderful! Thank you for the improvements...it's great. "

"I want to THANK YOU for the new web design – a great improvement – still a “few” glitches with type sizes (WHY are the by-lines larger than the HEADLINES, I wonder??) (...) as far as navigation of your site – generally, “good” with ONE exception – the OBITS – It was HELPFUL to have a listing of names which may be scrolled FASTER than the brief paragraphs, but I can also see the usefulness of the paragraphs, too. So it takes a few seconds longer to make sure that all my friends and relatives are STILL ALIVE. No matter.
One more thing: the ads in the right-hand column seem INTRUSIVE – of course, I realize that’s the whole PURPOSE of ads, but there needs to be better “margin control” since the text of the news stories seems to be jammed into the column of ads – just an esthetic thing for me, perhaps."

"Yesterday(3/8) couldn't get the site to do anything after it appeared on the screen. Today I read some obits. that I hope were todays. Backed up one step and was on the home page that was dated the 5th, but it had your posting and that was dated today (3/9 ). And the obits that were on the page, I couldn't pull them up either. I'm confused. HELP! Oh, one more thing, while reading the obits. they just disappeared, coming back after a long pause. Best of luck with the new site, hope you can debug it soon."
Note: I think you were trying to get in during the conversion process. You should not be having the same problems today.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vast improvement, nice touch! You must have a new server, too. Its running way faster.

Anonymous said...

Looks good Patti.
Former IT staff guess who?

Salabom Glitz said...

I find the overall site to be somewhat confusingly organized - I'm not sure where to start looking. Why are some stories under both "Top Stories' and "Local'? Why are some stories listed twice under 'Top Stories'? Where do I go to look for stories that were on the front page?

The new site seems very graphically oriented - the big flashing photos, the prominent video links - but without a lot of good graphic elements. Using the main photos as links only works if the photo captions make sense - and make it clear just what is being linked to. . "Shoppers exit and enter the mall" doesn't clue me in. And the video stuff isn't getting updated as often as it once was - one of the Lastest vVideos is still from March 14. Did your videographer quit?

It also would be helpful, as others have suggested, to post the first one or two paragraphs of a story on the main pages so readers can tell what the story's about. Either that, or write better headlines. Headlines that often work in the paper aare awful on the Web. (Case in point: Today's "Fantastic freshmen" under the Sports section. I don't have a clue what it's about, and am not about to waste my time on it if you haven't taken the 30 seconds to rewrite the headline.)

And please pick a better font for the left-hand links! Geneva or whatever you're using now looks horrible - the wide spacing between letters is *incredibly* distracting.

I also miss having the PDF files of the front page online. It was always neat to see just how the news was presented in the "old media' world.

Are there any plans to add columnists online - like Andy Young and Harvey Gittler? It would also be nice to hbe able to go to one page and look at current and past columns by those two gentlemen, as well as by Patti Ewald, Christine Jolliffe, Scott Petrak, Steve Fogarty, etc., rather than having to do a cumbersome search for "ewald" or "andy young' and sort through results.

Speaking of Mr. Fogarty, why aren't your Accent or Encore sections online? The movies and entertainment news and events in Encore, especially, would seem like a natural way to attract younger readers to your Web site.

Thanks for listening!

- A reader of your print & online editions since 2002

Anonymous said...

I love the new look and find it very easy to get to what I want to read. However, I do miss the Newspaper Archives, I found it very usefull when looking for family names and found several on my father in his younger years of mischief...I would love to see the archives come back.