National Post — Introduction

National Post  

Eight years of digital publishing evolution

I acted as design director for digital at National Post from 2006 to 2014. While there I redesigned the main brand’s website three times, in addition to designing and building apps, long form articles and special packages.

The home and article pages from the 2007 redesign

The first redesign

Many news websites in 2006 still catered to screen sizes of 800x600. where everything was… small, in a time before responsive web design, addressing screen resolutions was a massive undertaking.

We redesigned for a 1024x768 resolution, and addressed several issues we saw with the older site. Putting the reader front and centre, we refined the navigation to the primary types of news covered, designed a clear hierarchy for news (with a much more aggressive publishing schedule), put emphasis back on links and introduced larger art.

On articles we introduced a much larger font-size, larger art, related links and social media sharing tools and killed pagination.

Graphics — Left: Steve Murray, Right: Richard Johnson

A website for news design

Having the website built and managed in the newsroom let us deploy infographic and special event packages for just about anything.

The iPhone and Mobile Web

During the redesign, Apple launched the first generation of the iPhone. We started working on mobile websites and apps to expand the Post's media suite.

The 2010 redesign

In 2009 we embarked on a new redesign and moved the site from a proprietary CMS to WordPress. This gave us an opportunity to revisit the design and embrace changes like the widespread validity of web type.

iPad

In 2010 Apple launched the iPad. After the economic downturn started claiming newspapers, the publishing industry was ready to embrace a medium that was at once digital, and a more direct analogue to print. We experimented with the possibilities of the design on tablets.

Long Form journalism

One of the special packages we did was a retrospective on the decade long Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan. Richard Johnson, the Graphics Editor for National Post and Journalist Brian Hutchinson spent time over the decade documenting the conflict.

2012 Redesign

In 2012 we redesigned again, introducing larger type, structured data, and a toolkit for editors to build rich articles with an expanding set of storytelling tools.

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My role

  • UX Strategy
  • Visual & Interaction Design
  • Front-End Development