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Sept. 21, 2021, 11:02 a.m.
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   September 21, 2021

Nieman Lab is often pitched and rarely covers news site redesigns because these stories are almost always super boring for everyone except the company pitching them, but I’ll admit this tweet from Skift cofounder Rafat Ali caught my eye:

“Debranding” is a trend in logos — see: Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, PBS, Rolling Stone, Post-It, and more ditching shadows and depth effects for simplicity — but news sites that prioritize subscription models over advertising revenue are turning to it as well. Pay up, get a non-miserable internet reading experience. See also: Medium and Substack.

[Read: No garbage fires here: Medium advances its quest to gentrify the world of Internet publishing]

“We decided the two most important things are getting people to sign up for our newsletter and promoting our subscription product Skift Pro,” said Jason Clampet, Skift’s cofounder and chief product officer, who oversaw the redesign. The process focused on “getting rid most of the colors, all of the adornments, logos, crap like that, and just making it a nice reading experience.”

He noted that plenty of other subscription-focused sites, like The New York Times and The Atlantic, have done something similar. “Plenty of [sites] have done the simple black-and-white that we have,” he said. “Just give people the basic information we’d like to give them and we’ll get to them with other messages further down the road. It’s not a thing that you see on sites where they don’t know the reader.”

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