The New York Times is offering another sneak peek at the future of nytimes.com today, with an advance look at the new homepage, sections fronts, and article pages.
The paper is offering staffers inside Times HQ a chance to kick the tires of the new site and offer feedback before the rest of the world sees the site next year. (You can see the previewed sections below)
At first glance the redesigned nytimes homepage may not appear that different from its current state. But a closer look shows a front page that features new fonts, and has rearranged the way users navigate on the Times site. The site index on the left hand side of the page has been dropped to the bottom in favor of a sections menu that mirrors the Times iPad app. The new homepage also has a fixed navigation bar (which includes “Most Emailed” and “Recommended For You” among sections like World, US, New York, among others), that stays with users as they scroll down the page.
The section front has a similar styling, dropping the page border, top banner ad and navigation. The layout is largely the same, giving the feel of more of a makeover than an overhaul.
The Times first pulled back the curtain on its plans for the new site in March, when the paper previewed the new article page. Today’s update offers another look at the revamped article pages, which have a more seamless integration of multimedia, and offers a new, annotation-like approach to reader comments.
Here’s the email to the staff from the Times team working on the new design:
Starting today, employees are able to see the latest version of the NYTimes.com redesign, the next step in our continuous process to develop a richer digital platform to showcase our award-winning journalism and premium advertising.
This employee preview includes nearly all of the same elements found on the article prototype we made available earlier this year, but rendered on an entirely new page serving platform which is both faster and dynamic. The new platform serves as a foundation for all future development and will allow us to create more personalized experiences.
This preview also includes restylings of the homepage and section fronts, which feature a cleaner look, new navigation tools and new fonts. Like the prototype, article pages feature a cleaner, more engaging and responsive design; richer integration of photography, video and interactive story elements; and more efficient navigation tools.
To enable your preview, click here. You may also disable it by using the same link and clicking on the “Disable” button.
This preview is available only to employees at this time as you must be behind the company firewall to access it. The preview viewing experience expires after seven days. If you would like to continue viewing it after seven days, you must click on the link again.
If you wish to provide feedback or report problems, you may do so here. Your input will be invaluable as we prepare to publicly launch the redesign of NYTimes.com in early 2014.