By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

I think I’m in love

The New York Times today unveils a complete redesign of its Web site. It looks great. The best part is that it has a new feature called “Today’s Paper,” which gives you the digital equivalent of what you might otherwise have delivered to your doorstep in the morning.

Before, the Times site only gave you the front page. When you’d go to the other sections, it was hard to tell whether you were looking at something from that day’s paper, an article that wouldn’t appear until the next day or just a wire-service update that would never find its way into print. For someone old-fashioned enough to want to read that day’s paper, even if I didn’t get to it until evening, I like the new arrangement much better.

Two suggestions:

  • It looks as though there are no story descriptions for “Today’s Paper” except for material appearing on the front page. Bring them back.
  • Offer a week’s worth of “Today’s Paper.” That’s what the Wall Street Journal does for paying subscribers. It would be a great feature to offer TimesSelect customers who, say, missed the previous day’s edition and want to page through it quickly.

Overall, though, this looks like a big step forward for a newspaper Web site that was already among the best.

Update: I missed it at first, but there is indeed a feature called “The Times in Print from the Past 7 Days.” Thanks to Geoff for pointing it out.


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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I don’t like it that much. Here are the reasons I sent to the Times:1. I prefer black type to blue type on the screen. It is easier to read.2. I don’t have a wide monitor at home or at work.3. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WASHINGTON SECTION!!!!!?????

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Anon. 9:12: The type is black on my screen (Firefox with OS X 10.3.9). The headlines are blue, but weren’t they before? I don’t remember.The Washington section was an artificial, Web-only construct. The print edition always included all of its Washington coverage in the National section. Now the Web site is doing the same.

  3. George

    I also use Firefox and was aware that something had changed about the font. Doesn’t look blue to me, but slightly more difficult to read.But other than that, I’m thrilled with the upgrade to the 21st century. I’ve already let myself blather on too much about NYTimes redesign, so I’ll spare you here.

  4. Anonymous

    “Offer a week’s worth of “Today’s Paper.” That’s what the Wall Street Journal does for paying subscribers. It would be a great feature to offer TimesSelect customers who, say, missed the previous day’s edition and want to page through it quickly.”Look at the bottom of the page — where it says “The Times in Print from the past 7 days.” I don’t know if it’s limited to TimesSelect customers or not. – geoff

  5. Copy Editor

    looking at this on the IE 5.5 browser installed at work, I get the following:It appears that your Web browser can not find this page’s style and presentation information. You are welcome to use the page as is or, for the best experience, upgrade your browser to its latest version by visiting your browser’s Web site or NYTimes.com’s download page. You may also try our new Today’s Paper feature, a listing of all the headlines in today’s New York Times.”It’s a mess.I’m not sure it’s a good idea to design a page that only works on the latest and greatest browsers.

  6. Anonymous

    Copy editor, stop using Explorer. Download Firefox. It’s free and impervious to a lot of the worms and spyware that’s out there. You’ll never look back.

  7. Anonymous

    You won’t be the only one using your computer if you don’t update your Browser to the “lastest, greatest” version (that goes for Firefox also). An unfortunate fact of life now that pimply faced hackers have been replaced by organized crime.

  8. mark

    Dan, the design looks a lot like the International Herald Tribune web site: http://www.iht.com/

  9. Copy Editor

    The boffins here get very touchy when we try to add better software to our systems.So, I let it be. I’ll get a better view at home, where Firefox is installed.

  10. Anonymous

    Copy editor, the boffins will never know. Firefox is a quick, easy download. I don’t think you even have to restart your computer after installing.

  11. Copy Editor

    They tend to notice. The real trouble is that My computer at work is, um, a legacy model.Meanwhile, I got a look at the redesign at home. Now I have a new gripe.Why do they assume everyone has an enormous monitor these days? Having to scroll horizontally is a pain. Not everyone has, or can afford, a big screen. I also don’t want to resize the screen down to eye-strain level.A good design should be friendly to as many browsers and computers as possible. Based on personal observation, this one fails that test.

  12. Jordan

    Hate to say I told you so, Dan – and before Geoff told you – but in class yesterday I said you’re able to see previous days’ “Today’s Paper” in addition to today’s “Today’s Paper,” not just today’s “Today’s Paper.”

  13. Anonymous

    Actually, WSJ offers 90 days of “Today’s Paper” not just 7 — very neatly organized in their Past Editions section. They’ve been doing this for years, so everyone else seems to be catching up

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