Last week, Golden Gate [X]press, the student newspaper at San Francisco State University, unveiled its redesigned Web site, which highlights multimedia. The redesign caught the attention of Bryan Murley at Innovation in College Media. Aaron Morrison, online managing editor, shared some thoughts on the redesign in an e-mail interview.
Why did you want to redesign the site?
The old site was, to be honest, a bit cluttered. I was interested in finding a way to highlight our audio/visual content (audio slideshows, photo galleries, multimedia packages). That content, unlike many of the stories from the print edition, is a product of hours of production (editing, story-boarding, sequencing). Jesse (Garnier), our advisor, has done an awesome job of facilitating that change.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the new site?
More than anything, I would like for us to get more mileage out of our multimedia work. The old site lacked a clear hierarchy for the content. So when we published stories, they'd be added to a list of stories with no clear designation of what type of media it was (i.e. podcasts, slideshows, etc.)
What are some of the new features you are incorporating?
The new site should communicate what our biggest stories are. We can do that by highlighting our packages in the new multimedia widget, which appears prominently in the middle of the front page. Each section front will soon have that widget. Story pages will also display larger main images.
What do you want the redesigned site to say to readers?
I would like readers to see that [X]press is all about drawing you into the stories that we do. Jesse always tells us that online multimedia has the benefit of being an intimate experience for the user, as they are typically sitting very close to their computers and often use headphones to listen to audio. With that in mind, the redesigned site draws more attention to content that takes advantage of that intimate environment. I want readers to know that we take pride in bringing them where we've been.
How are you publicizing the site?
Parties, parties and more parties! No, just kidding. We're working on ways to get the campus community aware and involved with what we are offering online. Making ourselves visible might mean sitting in the student center with a couple of laptop computers and fliers with the web address on them. And of course we'll have a launch party soon.