In case you haven’t noticed already, the Globe and Mail redesigned its website this week.
The site is excessively slow right now, which I assume is only temporary, but still quite embarrassing.
As if to underscore how little has actually changed, the video introduction by Edward Greenspon (which I can’t embed here but looks like it was shot in a basement in the 80s) talks a lot about how great the website has been doing but very little about what’s actually changing, beyond the “new nav bar” (exciting!)
Among the changes from the old site:
- URLs lose their /servlet/story/RTGAM…/BNStory/home nonsense, replaced by search-engine-friendly URLs like this one that are based on the headline. This change will probably make the most difference for traffic reaching the site.
- After going overboard on the grey in their last layout, it’s much less prominent here in favour of black and red (making it look a bit Maclean’s-ish).
- Speaking of colours, each major section is colour-coordinated, including a rather garish purple for Globe Life.
- Gone is Trebuchet MS, replaced by serifed Georgia for headlines.
- The story pages are much cleaner and less cluttered, but for some reason photos are limited to 360 pixels wide.
- No more page showing articles that were in that day’s print edition, supposedly because they’re all found in their respective sections now and don’t need their own page.
But the most pretentious change is the name: It’s being rebranded from “globeandmail.com” to “The Globe and Mail”, because, Greenspon says, “it is the Globe and Mail and everything is integrated”. I can see the point (even if every newspaper says that and subsequently ignores it by spending 90% of its effort on the print edition’s front page), except Greenspon keeps referring to it as “globeandmail.com” and the video ends with the old brand.
Overall, I think it’s a positive change, if a bit over-hyped.