Way back in June, we noticed that ABC News was testing out a new look for ABCNews.com. Well, now we know a whole lot more about the design “refresh,” as the network is calling it.
The current ABCNews.com is a bit dated, with CNN, NBC News and CBS News all having updated their sites since the last refresh. The new design (see the screengrab to the left, and more photos below), places a heavy emphasis on video content, and brings social interaction to the forefront.
“As a user, sometimes you don’t want to wait for what is on television,” ABC News senior VP of digital Joe Ruffolo tells TVNewser. “This gives you an experience where you can choose what story is important to you and how you want to absorb that.
“Some people want to watch the trial, some people don’t, some people want to watch the live originals we are doing on the site,” Ruffolo added. “We just want users to have that choice, and that ability to get the news they want and when they want it.”
To that end, a flow of headlines (reminiscent of a Twitter feed) will now be displayed in a narrow column on the left-hand side of the page, underneath a box that can be used to display live video, archived video, live blogs or any number of other pieces of content.
“When we have breaking news or even developing stories, you will see that left column go down a little,” Ruffolo says.
There is also a new feature called the “Social Climber,” which will take stories that are trending and expand on them, bringing together various elements like text, video and potentially even infographics.
The individual shows themselves are also getting a bigger presence, with a more prominent look on the homepage, and refreshed show pages.
“Obviously ABCNews.com is focused on the news of the day, and obviously we are incorporating a lot from the shows and the tremendous journalism that comes across our network, but we are building out those show pages so users can more easier find what they are looking for, and promote some of the bigger elements,” Ruffolo says.
The changes will roll out today. See screengrabs below.