November 19, 2005
New look at Chron.com
I see that the Houston Chronicle has rolled out the new look for its online site. I had a sneak preview of it awhile back and thought it looked pretty snazzy, and I still do. Too early for me to say what I think of the interface in terms of ease-of-use, but right now what's got me excited is the changes to the archive search, which (to be blunt) used to suck on many levels. I've heard that archived stories will now be available in linkable form - I'll have to test that, because that would be excellent.
They've got (naturally enough) a blog to discuss some of the new features. Dwight will be taking a well-earned break now that this sucker is launched. Give the new site a try and see what you think.
UPDATE: Greg is not impressed.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 19, 2005 to Websurfing
Glad you like it, Kuff.
No breaks, the work has just begun!
It is pretty to look at, but my honest first reaction was, "Nice ads - now where is the NEWS?" I can tell I will be missing the old site for awhile. The linkable articles are nice though - I'll be testing that out too!
I've got to agree with Christine - um, where's the news? But it's prettier.
Still loads slow as molasses in both Firefox and Safari on a Mac, making it pretty much useless as a news site. That was an issue with the old site that actually, on my first visit, seems worse. (I clicked a link before starting to compose this comment, and now, a few minutes later, it STILL hasn't loaded. So it's still quicker to walk down the street and buy a paper copy than to use the web site.)
on the other hand, the search actually works - on the old site, you would enter search terms and click Search and absolutely nothing would happen (on any Mac browser I tried).
I know that Macs are a small portion of the audience, but since every other newspaper in America got this right, it was pretty much inexcusable. (About a year ago I had an email conversation about this with the web team where they denied the problem existed.)
I'll check it out more but my first impression is, nice graphics, but could they make the technology work?