We have a new look: Let me show you around

Open House

When you click on a GigaOM headline today, you’ll notice that the story page you land on looks a little different than it did yesterday. We think the new look is airier, with a bit more white space to let the headline and story breathe and to give your eyes a break. We know you get bombarded by content all day, and we hope a less-cluttered page will provide some respite from that.

More context

But the redesign is about more than aesthetics. The new article pages also offer more context. Increasing numbers of people are coming to articles not from the site’s home page, but from searches, tweets and other social media links, and we want them to know where they are on the site and to get some ideas about where to go next. How does the redesign help with that?

  • The story descriptions for the articles, which tell you why we think the stories are important, now sit between the headline and the start of the post. That lets you make a quick, informed decision before you plow into the post about whether you want read further.
  • The section of the site that you are in when you are reading a post, whether it’s mobile or cloud or something else, is now clearly highlighted at the top of the page.
  • The search box on the right-hand side of the page automatically surfaces content that shares the same tags as the story that you’re on. That means it’s easier than ever to find related content. (You can, of course, still search for unrelated content.)

Better sharing

With the redesign, we also wanted to strike a better balance between easy sharing of our content and the Times Square effect of too many social buttons. So we’ve streamlined the social-sharing options. If you want to see how many people agree that an article is Tweetable, just hover over the icons.

And we’ve tried to create a more inviting environment for commenting and discussion. At the end of the story, you can now find out more about the author, including different ways to contact him or her. We’re also experimenting with a widget that shows the last three comments and posts that were made on the site. We hope this will foster an even deeper conversation around the stories and topics we cover.

More to come

We haven’t touched up all the paint yet, but after staring at it for a few months, we decided that we needed to put it in front of the people it needs to work for — you, our readers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll gather your feedback, test some new ideas and refine some existing ones, to finish the process. Think of this as our public beta, and you’re all invited to be a part of helping us craft the next phase of GigaOM.

I want to thank several people in particular for all their work on the redesign. The team was led by Ian Kennedy, our senior product manager, and included Casey Bisson, our director of engineering,  Jamie Poitra, a senior engineer, and Jonathan Koshi, the outside designer on what we’re unveiling today. They spent a lot of long days — and nights — getting this ready to go.

This is the first step in an ongoing refresh of the site. We hope all of these changes will ultimately make it easier for you to find and engage with the stories on our site. We’d love your feedback on today’s changes in the comments below — tell us what’s working for you and what’s not working. It will help ensure that we get the other pieces of the redesign right.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock / Vaclab Volrab

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