05/05/2017 by Natalie Coughlan
New look websites for Express & Star and Shropshire Star
MNA Digital proud to launch new look websites for Express & Star and Shropshire Star
The website for Britain’s biggest selling regional paper has been given a “cleaner look” as part of a complete redesign by the team at MNA Digital.
It's fair to say the task of redesigning two websites, that combined see over 2 million visitors a month, felt huge! To take on this mammoth task, the team here at MNA Digital went back to basics and focused on the same key points we do with all of our web design:
Focusing on user experience
We firmly believe that focusing on the user experience of your website helps to set you apart from your competitors and drives traffic. Essentially a good website is one that is easy to use and enjoyable to read. No matter how large or small.
The team looked at improving the site navigation, responsiveness (whether it was mobile friendly) and of course the content.
Andy Hill, managing director of MNA Digital, said: "We are really pleased with the cleaner design for the expressandstar.com and shropshirestar.com. I would like to congratulate my team for their work, as well as colleagues in editorial and across the business, who have completed such a significant piece of work.
"The navigation of the sites was an important part of the project that received a lot of attention. The objective was to simplify the navigation and make it easier for our readers to find the content that they are interested in. During the project we conducted extensive user research, which showed that our sites were cluttered and confusing to navigate meaning that it could be hard for a reader to find the content they are searching for.
"Offering our readers too much choice through the navigation was counter-productive. The new navigation is simple to understand and works well on a mobile as it is easy to use on a small screen. This is important because over 60% of our users access our websites using their mobile phones."
Bringing digital and print closer together
As well as improving the user experience, MNA Digital wanted to ensure the site was easy for the journalists to use. For the first time, print journalists can now easily publish their content on the sites. Bringing the digital and print teams closer together.
Mike Woods, head of digital editorial content for the MNA, said: “It’s been a huge undertaking to relaunch our websites at the same time as we overhaul the workflow in the newsroom to take a more digital-first approach to publishing."
A joint effort with digital agency
Working in partnership with Cyber-Duck an award winning agency, MNA Digital developed the websites over the course of a year. Cyber-Duck developed a user-centered approach with the aim of ensuring the websites gave visitors an exceptional experience.
Matt Gibson Chief Creative Officer at the agency, said: “With user experience being so vital for retaining and growing MNA’s readership, we are delighted to have worked with MNA and its readers to help shape a more intuitive way to find, read and interact with content online.”
You can take a look at the new look websites for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star:
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