Users of Farmers Weekly Interactive will notice some changes to the site today (3 December).
To improve the user experience, the changes include consolidated left-hand navigation, new sector news pages, and a new colour scheme for the navigation bars, says Farmers Weekly Group online editor Julian Gairdner.
“Websites cannot be static and over the past year, as we’ve upped the ante hugely in terms of the quantity and breadth of our content, it’s become clear we need to find better ways to showcase that content.
“Feedback has suggested users couldn’t always find the content they were looking for, and often that was because it had already ‘slipped down the list’. The changes we’ve made mean that much more of our content should be more readily available.”
First among those changes is a consolidated left-hand navigation bar with new (grey) colour scheme. “We had too many navigation bars, some of which pointed to the same thing. This was confusing for users… and a bit mind-boggling,” Julian says.
The other main change is the introduction of new sector news pages with horizontal rather than vertical navigation (see image below).
“Many sites are moving to horizontal navigation,” Julian explains. “Each sector navigation bar will open a new-look page with a sector lead headline, four other sector headlines and six down-page promotional slots. Those slots will enable us to link to key features, blogs, video, forums and other content relating to the sector in question, helping our users find what they want, and to interact.”
The new developments are part of an ongoing process of improving the site, Julian adds. “We introduced a new ‘community’ forums and images area – FWiSpace – back in the summer and that’s been extremely successful. Next year there’ll be other exciting changes to the site… but I’m not giving away too much, just yet!”