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Mon September 16, 2013
Your Comments: New Home Page Redesign
Over the last months, we've been reading your comments, tweets and emails about the new NPR.org home page. The shift was a major one, breaking from years of standard newspaper-style site format, and embracing new designs and technologies. We expected strong reactions to the new experience, and we've absolutely received them, both positive and negative.
As NPR digital managers told technology-news site PandoDaily recently, the effects of the changes have been tangible and exciting. Visitors and visits to the home page have increased significantly. Those visitors have also clicked into many more stories on the home page and spent far more time visiting the site.
Looking at your feedback, of course, messages like these were our favorites:
But we also appreciated the specific feedback on how the new layout affected your reading and consumption habits:
I so do not like the new homepage! The old one showed so much more information at a glance!... Thank you for your efforts to improve your website, but this change is really not an improvement.
I really dislike the layout because I like to read all different types of articles, and this one column feed is very limiting. It may be a good look for a tumblr or a diary but not for an active news site.
What I don't like about it is that the stories take up lots of real estate. The old design was better - one could view many stories on one screen and select readings. Now, one must scroll down and down and down.
And some of you didn't like all the changes, but liked others:
Yeah, I think there are three reactions; good, bad, and neutral. I think this one falls into neutral for me as it's just a trade off. I get a more attractive interface with more photos and things of that nature, but my ability to quickly scan through the a ton of headlines quickly is gone... But kudos on achieving at least neutral...
And some wondered why we didn't respond to all the comments and suggestions:
After taking a "weekend break" from digital NPR and the new home page, I was somewhat surprised to see that there appears to be no coordinated response from NPR staff regarding the negative backlash to redesign. So far, the stock staff line seems to be the early claim that WE "really think it is the best decision for NPR."... Are we to ultimately expect any "official response." So far, the utter silence is a very loud reply.
Please be assured, we've been listening. Positive, negative or neutral, your comments and suggestions have been helpful as one tool in our evaluation of the new design. We're pleased with the substantial increases we've seen in your home-page visits and engagement. But we're continually making improvements to the site, and your feedback helps inform our actions.
So, please, keep sending us your thoughts.
Send your questions about the inner workings of NPR, something you heard during a program, or anything else NPR-related to NPR Services. Your question and the answer might even end up on the This is NPR blog.
George Gary contributed to this post.