The New York Times today announced plans to introduce a prototype version of NYTimes.com in advance of a series of major site enhancements that will begin later this year.
The purpose of the prototype experiment is to gain feedback from NYTimes.com users about the functionality, design, navigation and overall experience of the planned redesign.
Starting today, Times employees who access NYTimes.com from inside the Company firewall will be able to experiment with the new article pages, which are the first to undergo changes, and provide feedback on their experience. The public may access a preview of a sample of the redesigned article pages via this animated guided tour.
In the coming weeks, the prototype will become available to a randomly selected group of users outside the Company, who will have the option to utilize it and provide feedback, or opt out if they choose. Users who are not selected may request an invitation to test the prototype on NYTimes.com, though audience size is limited.The Times will use the feedback as it continues the process of developing a richer digital platform to best showcase its award-winning journalism and premium advertising. Users who participate in the beta experiment will discover changes to article pages that include:
- A cleaner, more engaging design
- Richer integration of photography, video and interactive story elements
- More efficient customized navigation for registered users
- Responsive designs optimized for desktops and tablets
- Higher-impact presentation of advertising
- Improved ability to scan and discover content
- Better-integrated user-comments and share tools