NY Times Redesign Prototype

08 Jun 2013

A few months ago The New York Times announced that they were working on a redesign. I signed up for access to their prototype, and got access last month. Checked out a few articles and dove into the source, and here's my view on the prototype.

A few things I really like about the redesign prototype:

  • The navigation can be triggered simply by moving the cursor towards the left side of the screen.
  • The custom shortcuts in the navigation! Stored using (HTML5) localStorage.
  • Custom social buttons!! They never use the official social buttons (by Twitter or Facebook), which is a good thing in my opinion.
  • Left and right navigation within the article to quickly navigate to the previous/next article.
  • I really like the minimal media enlargement / modal view. It is very easy to navigate through the items inside the article (keyboard shortcuts included. This article is a great example including images and video (with a dark

A couple of (intereseting) things I discovered about the NY Times redesign prototype:

  • Loads almost all of the JS files inside the <head>
  • Doesn't work without Javascript - you can never open up the navigation when JS is switched off. I also noticed that the navigation width is set through JS and also the animations (for the width) are done through JS. Even though the browser support list suggests that css animations should run fine.
  • Uses jQuery 1.7.2 - while the prototype only supports modern browsers, so jQuery 2.0 (which is faster and smaller) could also do the trick. Although I do understand the development of the prototype had started before the launch of jQuery 2.0.
  • The article pages are quite large: between 1.5 and 2.0MB seems to be the average.
All this information is very interesting, because we are working on a redesign of nos.nl. I try to keep an extra eye on other news organisations and how they solve similiar problems that we are facing.