We’re a week in with the new roanoke.com design and it’s time for an update. You have filled our feedback tool (accessible via that little yellow tab on the right of your screen) with more than 400 comments.
In summary, we hear this: Change is hard.
Yes, it’s hard when this website hasn’t changed in seven years – yes, you read that right, seven years.
Think of where you were with technology seven years ago. Did you have a 42-inch HD TV? A smart phone that streamed Pandora in your car? Were you still on dial-up? Maybe a few of you were on Facebook, but not a tweet was heard in the land those days.
We waited too long to change roanoke.com, I’ll admit. So when we did it last week we heard a lot of, “Whoa, doggies, why’d you go and do that?”
And, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Well, it was broke. We had patched and glued the old roanoke.com together for as long as we could, but we sorely needed this overhaul. Now might be the time to point out this project was not just about aesthetics – while the site looks new to you, the engine beneath it (what’s called the content management system) also is brand new.
Plainly put, top to bottom we’re driving a new car – while keeping the old one running during the transition. That accounts for the missing puzzles (they’re back), the site slowness (still working on) and more.
Thank you for your patience — and, most of all, for contributing your impressions and experiences with the feedback tool. We’re listening, we’re making changes.
But hang on tight – it won’t be another seven years before we do this again. It won’t be because we need to continuously improve what we bring you, our growing digital audience.
So, how have we responded so far?
You asked, “Where’s my breaking news?” Yesterday we added time stamps in red letters on stories on the homepage. Look for them if you’re scanning for today’s latest news. If you see a story without a time stamp, that means it was produced during the previous day’s news cycle.
You said, “The blog font is too light – it’s hard to read.” Check it out on this page – it’s now darker, and we aired out the type as well.
You asked, “Where’s the high school sports database?” Never fear, it’s coming back. We’re using the between-season time to make the change. But, meanwhile, stop by prep reporter Robert Anderson’s blog, where we’re taking feedback on what you’d like to see differently.
You asked a lot more questions about where to find your favorites. For answers, we can point you to a helpful feature on the feedback tool.
In the white box search box, start typing in your question. (In this case, we started typing in, “Where are high school …” while looking for the database.) Before you’re even done typing you’ll likely see similar questions – and answers – to your own displayed in the search results.
If your question hasn’t been answered yet, we’ll answer it and add it to these search results so others can see it in future searches, wiki style.
Again, thank you for your feedback. Together we can make roanoke.com even better.