It took long enough but yesterday afternoon WSVN.com went live with the redesign, now powered by WorldNow.
I am surprised to say it actually turned out better than I expected, some of the other WN sites I’ve come across aren’t much to write about. The new design is not anything revolutionary but it is clean and easy to navigate, WSVN made a good choice keeping a lot of white space along with the black/red theme. The site is fast(er) and light(er), the different sections are clearly labeled, things are easy to find unlike some other sites (*cough* CBS4). My only gripe is that some of the text is a little too small for my giant 27″ monitor, maybe for a retina iPad too. They should have probably forgot about the Craig and Belkys floating heads in the site header though, that’s kind of circa year 2000. But at least they have the proper WSVN logo so there’s that.
This is the first time Channel 7 has an outside vendor taking care of its web property. WSVN.com has been an in-house product since its inception in 1995 – the site was always designed internally, and hosting was provided by a local company. The new back-end software (CMS) running WSVN.com is probably one of the reasons why Channel 7 went with an outside company. The site now plugs directly into Avid iNews, the management system WSVN uses to build its newscasts, which allows for a much easier content distribution.
When it was announced that Sunbeam has switched to WorldNow, VP of news Alice Jacobs was quoted saying “We were happy with our sites but wanted to grow our digital audience and support our on-air newscasts,” how they plan to do that is unclear, but it would take a lot more than a paint job to grow the visitor count. Locally WTVJ’s website has benefited greatly from having its content featured on what once was MSNBC.com, now NBCNews.com, one of the most visited news sites in the world.
What do you think?