We are delighted to let you know about the launch of NewsNow’s brand new look. We’ve been hard at work creating a new design that is a big leap forward and will better enable us to evolve in future, while embracing our heritage as a leading independent news discovery platform.
Why we redesigned NewsNow
Since its launch in 1997, the purpose of NewsNow has been to democratise news distribution on the web, through presenting curated and breaking headlines from around the world for those who want to read more widely, and think more critically.
By presenting different perspectives and stories covered from a range of angles, NewsNow aims to help people compare and contrast opposing viewpoints, spot differing presentations of the facts, challenge their preconceptions, make their own minds up, and stay abreast of topics they are passionate about.
In an era of filter bubbles and ‘fake news’, we believe this mission to be more relevant than ever, and yet we felt key aspects of NewsNow’s design were outdated, and holding up our development of the platform and its adoption and acceptance by new users.
And so, our new design is intended to give NewsNow a fresh face, modernising the platform’s look and feel. It’s intended to provide a more appealing and compelling first impression to new users, without undermining what makes NewsNow great for its millions of regular users. Our new design is also intended to provide a better foundation for future improvements we plan to make to the platform.
At the same time, we’ve given additional consideration to accessibility for those with disabilities, and taken the opportunity to perform an under-the-hood rebuild, to make implementing future changes easier.
Despite first impressions, not a lot. The visible changes we’ve made are more style than substance.
Our use of colour has changed hugely. We’ve lightened up the site, by replacing large blocks of colour, used to denote topics, with more subtle lines and notes.
We’ve consolidated our previous colour scheme, to eliminate what we felt were unnecessary differences between topics and avoid stark changes in appearance as users navigate around the site, to provide a more cohesive overall experience.
We’ve kept our signature NewsNow red, except on sports pages where we’ve kept the familiar NewsNow green.
We’ve given careful consideration to making our design more accessible to those with disabilities. We’ve improved contrast ratios to make text more readable for those with visual impairments, and we have restructured our code to make it more compatible with screen readers and other accessibility tools.
Practically the only visible change of substance concerns the homepage, where we’ve removed the highly topical sections — which while highly relevant, were not always everyone’s cup of tea — and instead lead with our ‘top level’ topics: UK, World, Business, Entertainment, Sport, Football, Technology and Science.
Apart from that, our overall content structure and page layout remains untouched. From the overarching, three-column layout, to the exact size of our headlines. We have carefully preserved the NewsNow that you know and love, whilst lifting the overall design to cutting-edge standards.
What about the invisible changes? Well if you’re a UI designer, you might like to know we’ve employed the very latest UI design techniques (such as an atomic design methodology, based around modular components and BEM syntax) to enable us to iterate on our new design quickly and efficiently, making it easier for us to roll out further improvements.
The new design is the first step of many to come, that are intended to make the site more useful and accessible, and we rely on our users to help us get it right.
So as you spend time using our new design, we’d love to hear your feedback. If you haven’t seen the new design yet though, don’t worry; we’ll be rolling it out to more people very soon!