How Often Does a Newspaper Redesign?

It could be said that a newspaper redesigns itself every day. With websites, people tend to think of a redesign as changing content, and updating pages. Maybe adding some pages, or removing a few.

Of course a redesign usually includes some graphic changes, but the real purpose is usually to tell a better more up-to-date story.

So why did it get to a point where “redesign” was the only option? The simple fact is that most people treat a website like it’s a brochure. A website is not a brochure… A website is not a brochure… A website demands interactivity, -it demands to be current.

People tend to accept the fact that the brochure you printed 10,000 units of might have an out-of-date phone number, or paragraph. The expectation of digital media is that you will show the care to change the information to be current. The financial penalty to be accurate is minimal.


    Cody 08/23/2007

    Your blog sits at the top of my Google Reader feeds under web design and is usually one of my Top 5 reads!! But… You lost me here??? Gimme another blog post or at least a comment reply on the point of this post.

    Seriously this is a great blog.


  2. Entermotion 08/23/2007

    Sorry Cody… Pretty abstract post I guess… I think it’s interesting that people let websites get so out of date that they "need to redesign." The reason a redesign takes place usually is that so much of the content is out of date, -"we might as well completely redesign it." If you compare a newspaper to how most people think of websites, -a newspaper redesigns every day. By that, I mean it swaps 100% of its content. I think we can learn something from this as website owners… Most people don’t redesign for cosmetic reasons… What do you think?


  3. Cody 08/23/2007

    Ok! All my faith in you has been restored!!!! The first sentence of your reply cleared it all up for me and I agree about 94% (I have this ridiculous habit of just spitting out percentages that have zero factual basis).

    I do think the vast majority of redesigns are because people get mad at themselves for not keeping their website up to date. Then they kinda take a well home builders approach of "Well I let my house get really run down, I should just level it and start again from the ground up!" If the had just kept their house up to date through the years they would have a cool modern house, spent a lot less money and not have to go with a house during the building process. (I also have an even more ridiculous habit of constantly using construction analogies when discussing website theory, sorry)

    I do however think there is a time and a place for a new look or a new maintenance method that requires the decision to be made to scrap it and start over. I know you see that as a neccessity at times as well (so do house construction people, again, sorry). Sometimes the house is just so structurally poor that is actually economically wise to bring in the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Team and build a new one!!

    Holy Crap, World’s longest comment reply sorry!!

    I am back on board as a complete disciple of the Entermotion Blog. It is all clear to me know!! Thanks


  4. Entermotion 08/23/2007

    Perfect response… Ok, how about this for a question… What are the indicators that you need to redesign?

    * In retail, -seasonal tweaks are a near must.
    * A long over do move to CSS.
    * Your company has outgrown the current site past the point of just patching it.
    * A topographical change has occurred in your industry.

    -A site ought to be redesigned every ___ years.

    In a business-to-business industry, I might lean toward every 3-4 years, -budget permitting.
    In a business-to-consumer industry, -maybe every 2 years if possible.

    Still, I think you can stave off a total redesign if you need to by actively keeping content fresh…


  5. Cody 08/24/2007

    Your killing me. I was just trying to mouth off a little and now you want to analyze in depth. LOL!!!
    Aren’t web designers and Ad people supposed to just say very broad statements and everyone else just take for granted it’s true?

    Here’s an example to complicate the issue.

    School Districts – go to any school district site in Kansas minus the top ten in numbers of students.
    Odds are their website is horrible in all aspects, with the exception of CONTENT!! Alot of them keep new and fresh content on their sites. Board minutes, lunch menus, sports score, etc..

    Now, how is it being updated? A school secretary took a Juco course on Frontpage and she spends 35 minutes getting the pdf of the Board minutes on the site. She puts a thumbnail picture of the star quarterback on there and the thumbnail is 2.3 MB. She puts up that the honor roll has been released and realizes she misspelled one students name and its a 2 hour ordeal to make the correction. And the site looks like a bag of smashed armpits.

    Go check one out you will see what I mean.

    Another example

    I may regret my name being on this now but you tell me.

    Eagle Comm radio came to you and said , "We need you to make our website a little better, we update it daily with news and programming info, but we just need a little tweaking on the look."
    What’s Entermotion’s response.

    LogicMaze’s response is "Punt and let the defense try to hold while we COMPLETELY REDESIGN!"

    I am not disagreeing with you only adding an *.

    Tried to come up with a funny Barry Bonds, Baseball, Steroids thing about the *, drew a blank, sorry!


  6. Cody 08/24/2007

    anyway this thing can email when a reply to my comment has been added. I keep forgetting to check it and my Google reader doesn’t pick up comments.
    Help I am not disciplined enough to do anything unless BBerry or Google reminds me!!!!


  7. Entermotion 08/24/2007


    Entermotion’s response: Some of the sites that you’re referencing need to be designed, -before they can be redesigned… In the case of the radio station, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a (re)design. If nothing else but to move them into CSS. Still, if they’re updating their website constantly, I’m willing to cut them more slack on the design since the content is fresh…

    You have touched on an important definition here though… What is a "redesign?" In the case of the radio station, you would be retaining the architecture, and the content, -only addressing underlying structure, and cosmetics.

    I suppose there are a lot of arbitrary distinctions that are too ivory tower to worry about.

    btw. I added a comments feed to the RSS options.


  8. Cody 08/24/2007

    Now here’s and perfect example of this:

    I thought you needed to scrap this whole blog and start over because I couldn’t get updates on my Igoogle page for these comments! You proved me wrong! (I don’t know how to convey playful sarcasm in a blog comment very well???)

    I think it is all semantics but,

    We use the term "redesign" to mean we go back to the drawing board. Not saying that is right just what we do.

    We also use the term "remodel" meaning just change the furniture and paint color or wallpaper on the walls. Maybe some vinyl siding and new shutters.

    We also use the term "ladies night" a lot but absolutely nothing to do with web design.

    p.s. After i read my own posts I usually end up feeling like a dumbass.


Seen enough? Get An Estimate