June 28, 2012
Sky News revamped its website this week, revealing not only a new web GUI design, but an improved content management system design as well. The British news website's new features were developed in order to focus more on the visual content of the site and make it easier to navigate as well, according to Journalism.co.uk.
"The idea really is to make a richer site, one that's easier to navigate and one that helps give all the analysis and background information users increasingly expect of a news site," John Jelley, the executive director of Sky News, told the news source.
In addition to improving navigation and usability, the site also integrates Facebook profiles for users, abandoning a little-used community profile system, and improves the comment system for articles as well - "bringing comments into the heart of the site," according to Jelley. Site navigation improvements also move stories to the forefront of the user experience, requiring visitors to click less to read articles and comment on or share them.
In addition to the new website, Sky News is also working to integrate iPad support into its new CMS design, according to the news source. This will allow its journalists to enhance the user experience by improving story layouts in a fashion more appropriate to the context it is viewed in, providing a more consistent viewing experience across devices.
Overall, the navigation, CMS and web UI design changes help Sky News improve reader satisfaction and increase users' ability to share interesting articles with their friends - encouraging more readership as well. Today's news media is centered on improving the public's ability to interact with and share content, and according to Jelley, that is the focus of Sky News's updates and will continue to be so in the future.
Improving website usability and the user experience is important for any company, and as Sky News shows, the best way to do this is by focusing on how users want to interact with the content available. For a news site, this means increasing social media support and integration with the users' other online presences, like Facebook. By developing a new content management system and UI design, the news media company has shown not only a firm grasp of how to make its customers happy, but also of modern "good design" practices.