OLD Media Moves

CNET redesign will run until the end of the year

May 24, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush

CNET top storiesThe redesign of tech news site CNET that began with last week’s unveiling of a new home page — and new reviews pages — will go through the end of the year and include every facet of the site.

And then, CNET plans to continuously tweak its look, said Jeremy Toeman, vice president of product, in a telephone interview with Talking Biz News.

Up next for the tech new site will be a new mobile version of the home page, which will go live in the next couple of weeks, a new articles page and a redesign of the reviews template, said Toeman, who joined the company a year ago after a career in startups. He also wants to overhaul the “how-to” pages where CNET reporters explain technology.

“Our goal is by the end of the year to be finished with every page across the site,” said Toeman. “The other thing we’re making a change on is trying to get into a constantly agile mode. What can we do to make it better? We’re going to be treating every part of the site as its own discrete element. A huge company like ours can act on a dime and react.”

Toeman proposed the redesign to CNET’s general manager at the end of 2015. But he suggested that instead of treating overhaul as a huge project to be unveiled all at once that the website be approached in different pieces and deployed as they were completed.

The goal was to make the 20-year-old site look modern, but respect its existing readers.

“It’s very easy to go off into product and design land and be futuristic, but it doesn’t work with a stable readership base,” said Toeman. “We wanted to do something that paid homage to what we have done in the past, but with a more modern style.”

The result is a flexible redesign where sections can be moved around on the homepage and separating editorial content from sponsored content.

Toeman said that with the first changes, CNET’s metrics goal was neutral, meaning it didn’t want to lose any readers. “More is always great, but I want to do with the first pass is delight our current readers more than they already are,” he said, noting that the initial feedback has been positive.

“Once we’ve hit that goal, then we’re going to look at what metrics can be improved,” he said. “What we can work is page views per visit, time on site, videos consumed.”

CNET has an estimated 70 million monthly visitors.

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