Photo: Courtesy of USA Today
USA Today unveiled its massive redesign last week, changing not only its paper format, but extending the makeover to both its website and well-known logo.The transition marks the 30-year anniversary of the Gannett-owned paper which launched in September 1982.
While we’re fans of the simple design (it reminds us of scrolling through an app on the iPad), it took a year for the team to complete the redesign – or reimagination, as USA Today coins it.
Gannett’s Chief Digital Officer David Payne has overseen the site redesign from the beginning. He shared some early concept designs of the restructure showing exactly how the site transitioned into the 21st century.
Payne said the redesign focused on three big ideas. “Give people what they want when they request a story, separate advertising from content, [and] create a horizontal navigation experience.”
Though you can still access the old site at the moment, the full launch of the Beta will take place September 29th.
Until then, enjoy the old site (or continue scouring the Beta site) and take a look at how the site could have looked.
Here's the old USA Today website. The last major overhaul to the site was in March 2007. The plan was to make USA Today stand out from other US news sites while delivering an item to help readers scan news items more effectively.
The first homepage redesign concept by Gannett senior designer Andres Quesada was a very photo heavy reinvention of the news site with white text on black background.
Another early concept idea had one large image across the homepage. A similar option is currently available on the Beta.
This early concept moved the navigation bar to the left side while providing larger main page stories. Notice this is the first transition where the site scraps the old serif typefaces in the text.
A first draft from creative agency Fantasy Interactive threw out the multiple colour scheme, sticking to the USA Today's iconic blue. A mirroring Starbucks ad banner appears opposite the navigation bar.
The site soon took on the feel of the current Beta page. This homepage didn't provide an easy way to read multiple news headlines.
The problem with this and other early concepts was being able to quickly find the bulk of the news with a quick eye scan.
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