New montrealgazette.com now live

Take a look, take the tour, read the note from the editor.

The biggest change is that it’s wider (setup for 1024px instead of 800px) and it uses its own domain and branding. There’s also a lot of technology behind it that dates from this millennium, which allows you to comment on each article and see which articles are popular.

Feel free to comment there (or here, and I’ll pass them along) about the redesign, which took about seven months to complete, and is chain-wide (the Vancouver Sun site is also up, and the first review is positive).

UPDATE: See similar comment threads on redesigned Canwest newspaper sites:

UPDATE (Dec. 3): And if you need it in marketingese, that can be arranged. Nothing is more hip and in touch with young people of today than a press release quoting the general manager and senior vice-president of digital media saying that “Each execution will be customized and branded to reflect the values and personality of each local newspaper.”

15 thoughts on “New montrealgazette.com now live

  1. Jaye

    Well, so far some articles/columns are MIA (Internet Explorer can’t find…).

    It’s filled with a pile of stuff I’m not interested in… that I have to go through to get to what I am interested in. (No clear differential between this issue, past issues, features, etc.)

    I couldn’t find a way just to view all of the headlines. I went section by section instead, which was tedious.

    I came *this* close to finding the Camilli column… but that section put the articles above the columnists names instead of below like the other sections, so I clicked in the wrong place. Then I got “lost” and couldn’t find my way back.

    I like that it had pictures (no more “image not available”), but it was slower.

    Basically, hate. Hate. And I thought the last one was bad.

    If I remember correctly, though, articles were on one page. Don’t quote me on that.

    Reply
  2. Shawn

    Steve, for some reason it still won’t generate a favicon when I bookmark it in Firefox. You’ve got one for Fagstein, is it that expensive or hard to do?

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  3. Jaye

    Giving it another try today…. I think I’ve got the hang of it.

    News — > Today’s paper gives me the headlines. Treat the the reporters’/columnists’ names as bylines, and the whole thing works. Only one “Page not found” for me today.

    Love the pictures, hate the fonts. Still find it a little convoluted (just too much stuff), but I’ll adapt.

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  4. Kate M.

    I’m not getting a favicon either.

    Articles don’t have datelines any more, which is not good. I want to know before I read an item where it’s taking place, not have to plow down to the third or fourth ‘graf to find out it’s in Regina or someplace irrelevant to my blog.

    The ends of the stories have:
    © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

    Why are they using a real copyright symbol and a fake one on the same line?

    I’m subtly irked by several other aspects of the site but will think those through a bit.

    Reply
  5. DAVE ID

    Big improvement… but, hmm. Completely useless without RSS feeds which I couldn’t find after 2 minutes. What’s so freaking hard just jamming the thing up in the URL bar like every other freaking website that follows protocols?

    Reply
  6. wkh

    Pictures nice.
    Like pictures.

    In addition to what the above commenters said… I don’t know how to articulate this though… it feels like the blue words all sort of just melt together, in a blah blah blah fashion. I don’t know if I’d like it better in black or not. Maybe some edges around the sections or something to separate it? Right now it just looks like so much… BLUE.

    Use my brain, tell me what I am thinking, you’re good at that.

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  7. Richard

    Meh.. Has nothing that makes it stand out at all from any other boring nespaper site. It completely lacks its own character.

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  8. Zeke

    Howdy!

    It appears to be impossible to find the articles that were printed on paper in ‘today’s paper.’ I found the RSS feeds, but there are only 4 that I ould be interested in.
    http://feeds.canada.com/canwest/F4267 – Arts & Life
    http://feeds.canada.com/canwest/F301 – Editorial & Op Ed
    http://feeds.canada.com/canwest/F242 – Local Updates
    http://feeds.canada.com/canwest/F298 – Montreal

    I’m not sure what the difference between “Local Updates” and “Montreal” are and I have a strong suspicion that most of the paper will not make it on to RSS readers.

    Reply
  9. Steve at Canwest

    Hi all. A few comments regarding RSS – yes, we will have RSS feeds throughout the site shortly. Just working on a few items to make sure they are working properly. We are also working on the type – you may have noticed that we have already darkened up the gray type to provide a bit more “punch”. Articles are all dated on the article itself. I’d be interested in hearing any ideas for improvements, as we are continuing to tweak the design a bit. There is a lot more there, which was a big focus of ours. We heard loud and clear that people wanted more entertainment, health, travel, and tech info so we worked hard to make the site a lot more robust. Glad you like the photos.

    Reply
  10. Kate M.

    OK, used the site now for a few days. Here’s the biggie: after the first major block of news, there’s a set of smaller pieces with headers like NEWS, SATURDAY EXTRA, LIFE, BUSINESS, SPORTS and so on. Each of these has ONE ARTICLE under it, but the header itself is dead. That’s poor interface design. We need to be able to click EITHER on the specific article, OR on the header, and get into the sports section, business section or whatever. It doesn’t matter that some of those sections are reachable from the red bar up top. Having dead headers on a page is print media thinking. Everything that can be a useful link should be one.

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  11. Steve at Canwest

    Hi Kate. These headers actually are click-enabled. The local newsroom just needs to turn that feature on, which they will be doing going forward. So stay tuned – what you see so far is just the first step. Many new enhancements will be coming out soon.

    Reply
  12. Kate M.

    Here’s another recurring issue: I’ll spot a headline or something that points me to something like this:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/todays-paper/West+voters+slackers/1060175/story.html

    I don’t know if it’s the mechanism of the site or a policy of the paper, but it’s utterly useless to have a link to a teaser to a page in the paper. And then I can’t find the real article online (it may be there, but I haven’t got all day to track it down). Frustrating and silly.

    Reply
  13. Tom Philpott

    I agree that the lack of headline scan is an issue. I don’t have time to work my way through a site every morning, nor, I expect, do many of your more affluent readers (i.e. those with disposable income for your advertisers). The effect is that I no longer go to your site, despite it’s more modern look and functionality.

    This would be an easy fix for you…

    Reply

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