We needed a better way to point readers to our best stories. The quantity of posts we publish has grown, so it had become harder for readers to find the stories that they care about and that are most important.
Second, we wanted to make it easier to find content related to whatever you’re currently reading. Finally, we wanted a look that reflected the sophistication and excellence of the content we produce.
Our new design accomplishes all that.
Here are some of the highlights of the new look:
A more dynamic homepage. We’ve got a bigger, bolder section at the top of our home page to show off the top, featured stories of the day. This section now has a greater variety of layouts, and we’ll update it several times each day to reflect the most important, breaking stories of the moment. Check out the before and after screenshots below (the old site is on the left, the new site is on the right):
A better way to show off our best stories. Just below the featured stories section, we’ve got a section for “editor’s picks.” These are the stories that we’re proudest of, selected from the past several days of VentureBeat. This is where we step outside the breaking news cycle and bring you longer features, interviews, reviews, and other pieces that are worth reading. This is a rolling selection of stories that will always show the most recent 10 editors’ picks.
More consistent VentureBeat branding throughout the site. You may notice that the old “VentureBeat” logo has been replaced with a black and red “VB” at the top of this page. That’s going to appear on every page in every section. In the previous version of the site, each section (SocialBeat, GreenBeat, MobileBeat) had its own logo, but now we’re going for a more consistent look. We’ve also eliminated the “Beat” suffix from these section names, with one exception: GamesBeat is still GamesBeat (more on that in a minute).
A better way to discover related stories. When you’re reading a story on VentureBeat, like this one, there’s a “carousel” of related stories at the top of the page. This shows three stories at a time, selected from the same section as the current story. You can scroll left and right to see even more stories. Here’s a comparison of the old story page (left) and the new one (right):
A window into the most popular stories on our site. In the right-hand sidebar, there’s a box that shows the most popular stories from the past several days. A second tab in this box shows the stories that readers have been sharing the most.
Easier navigation and sharing. When you scroll down to read a story, a navigation bar pops up at the top of the page to provide a few tools for sharing the story on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the like. If you like what you’re reading, we hope you’ll use these buttons to share our stories with your friends. This bar also has arrow buttons to let you read the previous story or the next story in the same section.
Finally, there’s one section that has retained the “Beat” designation, and that’s GamesBeat. In the next couple of months, we’ll be building a better, stronger GamesBeat, turning it into a destination site in its own right as we incorporate the community members and content from Bitmob, our most recent acquisition. Stay tuned for more details on that. In the meantime, GamesBeat will remain a section within VentureBeat. It will have many games-related stories that don’t appear on the VentureBeat homepage, so if you’re interested in games, bookmark the GamesBeat homepage and subscribe to the GamesBeat RSS feed.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.