Chris Strimbu, director of user experience and design at the Los Angeles Times, says, ‘We were definitely in need of a new way to tell news stories.’
A Code and Theory team was embedded within the Los Angeles Times newsroom to understand what different types of stories are published – such as breaking news, longform, and photo journalism – how stories are broken, and how reader conversations and interaction is sparked.
‘Visual browsing’ allows readers to skim content visually by looking at images relating to sections which can be navigated by subject on a sidebar.
The homepage and all section pages have been designed to accommodate news stories as they change. There are no static templates, instead content can be promoted in a way that reinforces its value. The visual treatment of each story matches its editorial importance.
‘A variety of modules can be selected by editors’ giving them the freedom to prioritise content in different, ways says Code and Theory senior content strategist Matt Chmiel.
A ‘transporter feature’ allows users to see thumbnails of related stories so they can skip to related articles.
Article pages are embedded with video, and slide-out panels unlock content and give readers the opportunity to comment.
Code and Theory says that the design of the site considers that readers treat article pages rather than the homepage as entry points.
Chmiel says ‘Regardless of the screen size there’s better storytelling now. It can respond to the flow of news in different ways, it’s more visual and can help define the newspaper for the digital era.’
You can take a tour of the site here.