Online evolution

One year after its re-launch, The Minnesota Daily is still improving its Web site.

Son Huynh

ItâÄôs been one year since The Minnesota Daily launched its redesigned Web site. Since the redesign, the Online Department has worked hard to make improvements and add new features to the site. This summer, we decided to work even harder to bring our readers the best possible online experience. We have made changes to greatly improve not only the overall look of the site, but also to improve its functionality and usability. Going to mndaily.com, readers will first notice the change in the header. The new header boasts a different skyline and a different background. We suggest that you check mndaily.com at random intervals during the day, especially during different weather conditions. There are more than six different designs that will change based on the time and weather. The biggest changes readers should note are the new section designs. Arts & Entertainment, Sports and Multimedia now have their own unique styles. Readers should also note that the sidebar has been themed in a similar fashion. Any content in the sidebar that relates to a given section shares its same color and feel. These new designs are more visually appealing, and they add more context to the Web site. Before, the Web site used to have tertiary articles underneath more important ones. Indeed, the new sections are a great improvement. Moreover, usability has improved. Under Sports, each article now features the relevant sport above the title. All the sports subsections are also listed in the sidebar for easy navigation. The Arts & Entertainment page has been divided into subsections to help navigation. As more readers use the Internet to get their information, we put more emphasis on online-only content. As such, we revamped multimedia and blogs to increase traffic. As the year progresses, we will be adding more features to our online content. There are a few other noteworthy changes in the search engine and footer. We changed to GoogleâÄôs Custom Search Engine. This will make searching a more enjoyable process because many people are already used to GoogleâÄôs search engine. The footer has been rebuilt to add interlinks and to improve navigation. It should be easy for anybody to get to anywhere on the site within one click. There are other slight improvements in the Web site. We encourage readers to take a look. The Online Department gladly welcomes any feedback and suggestions readers may have. As always, the Daily strives to maintain its reputation as a leader of college newspaper Web site design, and it is persistently trying to improve. We will be rolling out new features in the near future, including the release of an online Daily Store. People will be able to buy photos and T-Shirts, with additional offerings in the works. Son Huynh is the Online Manager at The Minnesota Daily and welcomes comments at [email protected]