Case Study

Google Bows to Criticism, Changes Google News Design

Google News

Just two weeks after launching a new version of its Google News site, the web giant has changed the design in response to complaints from users. While the recent redesign is still the default — with a single main column containing “top news,” along with a customized stream of content called “news for you” — users now have the ability to change back to something more like the previous grid-style layout, which includes sections for each main news topic spread over two columns.

The main focus of the Google News redesign was the introduction of the customized “news for you” section, which expanded on the customization features that the site had before and brought them to the forefront. Many other news sites and services have been making similar changes, including Digg, which is working on its own major redesign aimed at making the service more social and allowing users to customize their sources of news. And the Washington Post earlier this week acquired a startup called iCurrent, which allows users to create a kind of personalized newspaper based on their favorite topics.
It’s worth noting, however, that some users didn’t like the personalized “news for you” feature much, judging by some of the comments in a Google News support forum on the topic, as well as comments on a Nieman Journalism Lab story on the new redesign. Whether the latest changes that Google has made will pacify some of those critics remains to be seen.
Sometimes you have to know when you are pushing to hard

Well, if you check the links at iNewsDesign:

You will find the basic thing what you have to take care when you decide to redesign.
Personalization may be the future of the news, but when you use this kind of therms you realy need to know what you are talking about.
Sudden changes can be to aggressive for your readers. Sometimes people just don’t like the change and that is a fact.

So, Back to basics and read it carefully, it is all written in the next few lines, the whole mystery of publishing, designing, redesigning…:

An effective redesign makes the most of the resources you have to connect with the reader. Design that reaches readers is not just good for the prestige of a publication – in a world where staffs are shrinking and readers have a growing number of choices in print and online, it’s a good investment for the future.

Good redesign is driven by a deep understanding of the editorial mission of the publication.  
Every effective redesign starts with an look in the mirror: Who reads your publication? Why and how do they read it? What are the strengths of the staff? What resources are available? Those questions seem so basic that they’re often skipped over. Instead, many redesigns start with the wrong question: Who do we want to be?
Begin with a frank and comprehensive look at who your readers are. The answer will be the cornerstone of a successful redesign:

-      Who are your readers? What else do they read, what do they watch, how do they spend their time?

-      Why do they read you? What unique information or perspective do you bring to them?

-      How do they read you? Do they read through in one sitting or several short ones? How much time do they spend with the publication?

-      Where do they find you? Do they buy you on a newsstand, receive you at home, or find you elsewhere?

Next take a hard look at yourself:

-      What are the strengths of the design staff? What are their weaknesses?

-      What resources does the staff have to draw on? What are the limitations of time, budget, experience, and training?

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About Zoran Opalić

Around the World: 1997. NY, USA - Design Workshop at the New York School of Visual Arts // 2003. Hamburg, Germany - Mario Garcia Studio - media design,future of print media.// 2004. Innsbruck, Austria - News Desk, News Desk work shop// 2007. NY, USA - Future of Media and New Technology, New York // 2007. Miami, USA - "React to the news in the short term - in the newsroom work flow". More info: January 1st, 2008: madeIN magazine. Occupation or position held: Publisher/Owner Name and address of employer: Dobro Slovo Brace Domany 8, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia) Type of business or sector Publishing (Magazine) Web January 1st, 2001 - December 31st, 2007 Vecernji list daily. Occupation or position held: Art Director Type of business or sector Publishing, Daily Newspaper. Early Years: I have worked on a different creative media projects — Jutarnji list daily (at the time - 1998. new daily newspapers in Croatia), Globus, Studio, HAK, Nova Vjencanja, Auto Plus...

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