The Ledger Redesign

Ledger LogoThe Lakeland Ledger just launched their new site and I can finally comment on the new design…

Great job!

The new site, while more complicated in many ways, is much easier to navigate. The old site was narrow, which reflected the old standard width, which made everything seem pressed together like a Dagwood sandwich. The new site is much wider, with a healthy amount of white space to either side. Of course, your screen resolution will decide your experience. I view the site at a 1280 x 960 pixel resolution.

If you tuned in just before 2pm the site was a mess as scripts, style sheets, and other elements were swapped into place. The Ledger reports it may take hours for all the changes to take effect. That’s actually pretty fast. Simple site launches find unexpected bugs. The Ledger is not a simple site.

The Good: The headlines are larger and easier to separate from the rest of the content. The Multimedia and Snapshot sections are well placed and eye-catching. The Main Story of the page really jumps out at you now. The top section menu will make navigating the website much easier. The News/Sports/Entertainment tab is very handy. The headline sections make it easy to see the latest in each category. The Polk Voice feed and the Ledger Blogs feed is now easier to see.

The Bad The center column seems to end abruptly. Maybe that is for future content? I miss LAKELAND. It was featured more prominently in the old logo.

The Ugly I know the paper has to make money. I just wish that banner ad on full stories could jump below the headlines. The three rotating ads on the front are also ugly, but less obtrusive than I first believed.

Here’s Ledger Online Operations Director Barry Friedman’s story on the changes. The Ledger staff is looking for your feedback. I’m sure they’ll be tweaking for a few days.