Redesigns and Living Stories

Gosh, people hate website redesigns. But it’s amplified when you redesign a website for news bloggers who promptly blog about the redesign that didn’t involve them… Andrew Sullivan on the new Atlantic website:

Certainly at no point was I ever asked what I would like to see improved on this page. My requests over three years, often suggested by readers – for a continued-reading feature that does not require a new page (the new one sends you into a mass of prose where it’s very hard to find where you left off), for a much more user-friendly search function, for one-click running summaries of long threads (torture, gay rights, Obama, health reform, Window views) etc, have all been turned down, even as just three people produce 300 posts a week to the point of exhaustion and generate between 55 and 60 percent of the’s entire traffic.

Speaking of “running summaries” of ongoing issues — I have gotten particularly interested in Google Living Stories project. Well, the example site is dead now but the idea (and code to make it happen) is alive and full of possibilities. Imagine the possibilities by tracking stories not by posting new news articles the way we do now, but instead having a single page keep the history of that story but display the most current version and news of the topic. At institutions where awareness and potency of issues rise and fall even within a year, living stories gives the appropriate summary of history and the most recently relevant developments. I like it and want to try it out somewhere.


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