I am so excited that the redesigned Today Moms site launched. It was the last project I worked on when I was still at nbcnews.com. With a small team of super talented people we came up with this responsive design concept.
The site is built on the new platform that we built in early 2012. There are a few great ideas behind this concept, and I want to highlight a couple that makes me smile .
One of the biggest problems we are trying to solve has to do with reading behavior that most people have. Readers will come to the an article on the site, read it and leave. We want people to continue reading, and to do so, we have to streamline the reading experience and make it as effortless as possible. We do that on desktop by automatically open the next article when you reach the end of the current one. Infinite scroll has been implemented on many social web sites, but the technique is not being used for news sites. It is a great solution that help build a certain kind of user habits. It is something that behavioral psychologists call Variable Reward Schedule.
To streamline the reading experience even further, the team negotiated with the advertising team to move all ads to the third column on desktop experience. We place a new ad after every 5-7 paragraphs. And it is only being loaded when it is visible on screen. It is a patented technology owned by the company. That way the content integrity is intact and the advertisers are still getting their impressions.
Last but not least important is the social sharing bar on the left side that follows the user down the page. It has been done on other sites, but the colorful bar in this case stands out enough from the rest of the page without being obnoxious. And it tested really well in our usability lab.
So there it is, my last project at nbcnews.com. I am sad that I was not there to celebrate the launch with the team. Kudos to all the people that are involved. You guys are awesome!
Desktop story page
Tablet story page
Phone story page