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Friday, March 15, 2013

Smart Data-Driven Redesign at the NYTimes

Like so many others, I'm constantly impressed with the NYTimes.  They have such an incredibly rich history of award-winning content, and have been pioneers in so many areas of digital media.  Plus they are loaded with super smart, data-driven, talented people.

We're incredibly lucky to have them as a customer of ours at Webtrends.

Mashable has a great article on the redesign of the article layouts the NYTimes is rolling out.  So many of these changes are driven by smart analysis of data.  Note these quotes:

  • Longer articles are no longer paginated because the Times found that readers read further and stay longer when they don't have those obstacles, Ian Adelman, the Times' director of digital design, says.
  • Approximately 46% of the Times's web traffic comes through the home page, and Adelman says desktop visitors frequently click on an article from the home page and click back to the home page to choose another article over and over again.
  • Subscribers who log in to the Times site when the redesigned pages roll out will notice that the navigation menu has been pre-populated with shortcuts to the sections they visit most.
  • Overall, there are less ads, but the Times expects impression numbers will remain steady because the new site will encourage people to read for longer periods of time.
  • There's also an expectation that, with less elements to compete with on a page, advertisers' messages will stand out more — a hypothesis that will be tested in time by click-throughs rates and other engagement metrics.
  • Larson says they are still testing to determine optimal placements for many of these features, particularly the most-emailed stories widget, which is especially popular with readers.
  • To keep you reading, a row of additional stories from the section appear at the end of articles, followed by a second row of stories recommended for you based on your previous reading history.

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