9 Thoughts About Gannett’s Platform Redesign

By MaryBeth Sargent, Ball State University

Corey Greeneltch (Director of Design at Gannett Digital) and Kevin Poortinga (General Manager of Gannett’s Local Digital Solutions Network) gave a talk on designing templates that can be used on nearly any platform. Here are 9 quick notes and questions to think about during a redesign to take away from Gannett’s digital gurus:

1. There is power and beauty in the individual, but there needs to be a balance in the system that creates unity within a company. Not everyone or every page can be a “special snowflake.”

2. The reality in the design of Gannett showcases a single system designed for the entirety of the company, despite the platform the content is presented on to create a consistency in product.

3. Identify the problem you are having before presenting the solution.

4. Enterprise design is a balancing act. Designers are the voice of the user, but the platform must also be protected.

5. How do we get to the realm where advertising is content and bridges the gap between users and advertisers? This is a main focus of their template, which inclines users to encourage and request better advertising on the Internet.

6. A focus for a redesign should be: how do you get all the different needs of users from different regions to fit into one design template?

7. The whole point of a unified system is to give the reader a 3 second view. The flexibility needs to be built into the template beforehand for every platform.

8. By applying a single system to a wide variety of markets, this allows designers to find the gaps and flaws within the system the properties have to apply change.

9. There are needs of the giant corporation, which is responsible for the brand identity, juxtaposed with the needs of the local market. These critical needs should be considered in the configurations of the system for the platforms.