A number of years ago, everyone from sensationalist bloggers to your next-door neighbor was sure the traditional news media, from weekly and daily newspapers to magazines, was on its deathbed. Little did they know the sentiment they were hearing wasn't a death knell for the news industry but rather a signal that the industry was changing. Digital distribution was soon declared king, and from dedicated apps to revamped websites, traditional news publishers quickly adapted to shrinking subscriber pools and shifting news consumption habits. Now, on the heels of Newsweek's announcement of a new digital-only strategy, the Vineyard Gazette, a news institution on Martha's Vineyard, has launched a completely new, OHO-architected web experience that brings the local news publisher into the digital news age in style.
A Web-First Newspaper Website Redesign
The new website, which launched today, features a completely new design for the paper, a robust multimedia section to showcase the stunning photography and video regularly captured around the island by Gazette staffers, and a new font style, which was made possible through collaboration with Boston-based Font Bureau, Inc.
Device-Agnostic Responsive Design for Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet
But perhaps the best (and likely most subtle) detail is the site rocks a responsive design, meaning regardless of a reader's screen size or device, content on the new Vineyard Gazette site, from breaking news and featured editorial content to local events calendars and an archive of tens of thousands of articles from the publication's past 10 years, will feel, function, and look great. Using a customized cascading style sheet (CSS), OHO was able to optimize the site for a wide range of smartphones, tablets, and widescreen desktop displays so users could enjoy the same great reading experience found on the desktop without sacrificing functionality while on the go. Most users will likely be completely unaware of this bit of design magic (which is sort of the point), but for a taste of what we're talking about, a side-by-side comparison of desktop, tablet, and mobile will do the trick. Go ahead: we challenge you to find a missing feature or block of content!
Streamlining the Editorial Workflow and Adobe Web Publishing Process
Of course, good looks aren't the only thing to be found here, as the all-new Gazette also features a number of under the hood enhancements to optimize the editorial process for the island-bound newspaper website. The site's backend, which is built on Drupal 7, features custom integration with the paper's classified ad management platform, a robust taxonomy and tagging system, synchronization with the newspaper's subscriber/circulation system, and bi-directional workflow capabilities, meaning when drafting content the editorial staff can both import from and export to the Adobe InCopy and Adobe InDesign platforms at will.
Building Subscribers, Driving Readership, and Monetizing Content
The site even features a customizable paywall (that news monetizer's oft-sought white whale) so the publisher can change what content is free and what content requires a subscription to suit their business model on the fly.
To get the latest happenings on the Vineyard, become a subscriber, or simply see the site for yourself, which was architected, designed, developed, and deployed by OHO, we proudly invite you to visit www.mvgazette.com.