New TribLIVE.com debuts with what readers want in mind
Online news in Western Pennsylvania is getting a face-lift.
Visitors to TribLIVE.com are finding a revamped website that reflects Trib Total Media's commitment to matching the evolution of how news is delivered, and to meeting the needs of an expanding audience.
“We're trying to make the site more vivid, less looking like a newspaper and more like a website,” said Jennifer Bertetto, Trib Total Media's president and board chairman. “We really want to take our web presence to the next level.”
To do so, the company sought advice from experts in what an audience wants: TribLIVE's visitors themselves.
“This really came from the feedback we got,” said multimedia editor Steven Adams, part of a team that worked with the Boston-based firm 451 Marketing to design a fresh layout.
“It's reflective of what people were asking for ... better graphics and less clutter,” said Janet Corrinne-Harvey, executive director of digital sales and technology.
The redesigned site displays more visual links to stories and features, with the sports and community news important to Western Pennsylvania readers offered in prominent locations alongside some of the best work from the Trib's award-winning staff of photojournalists.
A streamlined and more responsive navigation bar guides readers to the most important stories with ease. A common complaint among visitors was that they got lost in the array of links and headlines.
“There are fewer things out there to choose from, but that should help people find what they want,” Adams said.
Community news remains a focus, with a link in the navigation bar to neighborhood pages.
“It's very important for visitors to find the local news that matters to them,” Bertetto said.
The multimedia team is working out a few bugs from Sunday's launch and using them to make further improvements.
“We'll spend this week fine-tuning the pages to display everything correctly in all browsers and devices,” Adams said.
The opportunity to redesign the site came with Trib Total Media's recent changes in its strategic plan. The company consolidated some of its newspapers into regional editions of the Tribune-Review as it adjusts to an audience that is more likely to seek its news online.
“The way people find us and interact with us has changed. We need to change, to deliver that news back to them,” Corrinne-Harvey said, noting the increased role social media plays in directing readers to news sites.
That change will continue and the Trib is more prepared to evolve with it, Bertetto said. The redesign visitors are seeing this week is only phase one.
“Almost immediately, we have started working to make the site completely responsive,” Bertetto said. That includes more work on mobile versions of TribLIVE and its apps and some new features.
Trib Total Media's new digital venture, 535 Media, is working on a website that will target the millennial generation audience, set to launch this spring, Bertetto said.
Until then, the multimedia team wants to hear more from visitors about what they think of the new TribLIVE. A feedback button near the top of the site provides a direct line to the people making improvements over the weeks to come.
“Readers will see adjustments and changes more frequently than they're used to,” Adams said.
David Conti is the assistant business editor at the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 412-388-5802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.