Good morning and welcome to our new website design.
Our news focus hasn't changed - we're still posting stories for and about people who live in the South Sound - but some of your favorite features may have moved around a bit.
Our goal with the new design is to give readers a cleaner and less cluttered view of our offerings. The homepage has sections for local news, sports, business, opinion, and nation and world news. Streamlined drop-down menus take you to sections for entertainment, obituaries and other specialty news. More stories have accompanying photographs. And it takes us less time to post breaking news.
Ian Swenson, our digital team leader, has been working for months with specialists from McClatchy Interactive to create the new site. Decisions on story and ad placement, on sectioning and other matters were based on user testing.
Frequent users will notice some changes.
The new design has a classified ad module running on the left-hand side. Some news features, including the list of most popular stories and our photo galleries, now appear in the right column.
Earlier this week, we trained every member of the newsroom staff to post stories and pictures on the new site. Reporters and photographers will be posting more regularly than in the past, sometimes directly from the field. The new site also processes stories more quickly, especially important when news is breaking.
The new design allows for more photos.
Since January, we've equipped each reporter with a smartphone or iPod. We've trained them to take simple pictures and videos to accompany their stories. The professional shooters still will provide the strong photojournalism our readers have come to expect for the paper and the web. But others have become good enough at taking digital pictures that they can shoot a close-up of a person's face or a video of a spokesperson talking.
Our blogs have changed a bit, too. In the past, we used some blogs as a place to post breaking news updates. The new website lets us break news more directly, so readers will only need to check the homepage for the latest news. Our most popular commentary blogs, including our top sports blogs and the TNT Diner restaurant blog, will remain.
Be sure to visit the bar across the bottom of the home page to sign up for an email newsletter, download our apps and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Your TNT bookmarks should remain intact. If you have a problem finding something, however, we have improved the site search functionality. Simply type what you're looking for in the search box in the top right corner of every page. You'll still be able to comment on stories and share them with friends.
Any change takes some getting used to. Try ours for a few days, and tell us what you think at www.thenewstribune.com/customer-service. The site will continue to evolve, so you also can use that feedback form to sign up for our reader panel and have a chance to be a part of our ongoing conversation.