Forum Communications Company presents a redesigned Duluth News Tribune site today, complete with a new user interface and added features to improve the experience of our readers.
Based on feedback from user studies conducted by a third-party firm, FCC developers, product managers and user experience professionals identified high-priority features to deliver a variety of new functionality, including a streamlined navigation system.
"We're excited for the launch of our new websites today and what it means for our audience's experience," said Duluth Media Group Publisher Neal Ronquist. "Our audience seeks quality, local content published across multiple different platforms, including print and digital.”
All papers in the Duluth Media Group — the News Tribune, Superior Telegram, Cloquet Pine Journal and Lake County News Chronicle — roll out updated sites today.
The first step in the process was obtaining feedback through user studies from the company’s most valuable audience — its readers.
“Our readers are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s important for us to make decisions based on what our users are telling us,” says Steph Schroeder, chief digital marketing officer at Forum Communications. “These studies helped us identify the most desired features from our users and then implement those into this refreshed version of the site.”
Considering readers’ responses and analytical data, new features were identified as priorities.
“We made the homepage even better for finding interesting and important news for our readers,” said Emil Hatlelid, a user experience and interface designer at Forum Communications.
After identifying top priorities, developers and product owners began work to implement the updates to the News Tribune. Ronquist said the site places the News Tribune in a strong position to best connect readers with vital content.
“The Duluth News Tribune recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and we remain committed and excited about the future of journalism in Duluth and the surrounding region,” he said. “Providing accurate, engaging content is important to the communities we serve and this latest investment allows us to continue to meet our mission."
The features added today aim to meet readers’ everyday needs, including finding content they love, discovering trending articles and accessing featured video content more easily.
“At the center of all of our products — print and digital alike — is content,” Schroeder said. “The new features and functionality we’ve added will allow our readers to more easily discover the content they want to read, when they want to read it.”
Although these site features have been released today, this collaborative effort among the newsroom, Forum technology staff and its audience is ongoing.