Happy Birthday Examiner! Examiner.com was launched in April of 2008. It is three years old this month. I've had the pleasure of working for the site since December of 2009 helping shepherd the site from Cold Fusion to Drupal 7.
Last week represented a significant release for Examiner.com. The site made its first major shift in look and feel since its summer 2010 release in Drupal 7. This came after a launch partnership with Facebook comments a few weeks back. The site now has a combination of Drupal comments (on pages that already had comments) and Facebook comments on any node that doesn't have a comment yet.
The Home Page
This is the first step in a series of site updates that will give the Examiner.com visitor an improved experience. The updated look has a cleaner and easier to use header. It is tighter with the menu more closely integrated with the header itself. The advertisement has been taken out fo the header and put directly above the main content area. The colour scheme itself makes the page feel much more open and inviting. Rounded corners have been removed from the design. There are plans to overhaul all the blocks on the site as well. The login block has been moved to the top of the header as has the invitation to write for Examiner.
Examiner.com Home Page Before
Examiner.com Home Page After
The Article Page
The Article page has had a pretty significant update. The article title is larger and while the the Examiner Title Block (that is the area with the headshot) hasn't had significant change - it seems more integrated with the page. This may have to do with the removal of the blue background making the site feel airier and easier to navigate. The left rail on the site has been simplified with only two blocks under the photo, slideshow, and video blocks. This included moving the writer's "recent article block" from the right rail and adding it to the left to better surface an Examiner's content. Treatment of the left rail blocks is much simpler than in the previous design.
Examiner.com Article Page Before
Examiner.com Article Page After
More changes are coming in the future. Using feedback from site users, Examiners, and data gathered from multivariate testing, the team will glean what works, what doesn't work, and iterate a more effective and site that will encourage users to stay longer and play more. I'm looking forward to the next weeks and months as the entire Examiner.com family works together to make the site better and better.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EXAMINER! It seems fitting that you should get a new outfit for your big day.
Party Hats by Ced