Editors respond to Minneapolis Star Tribune redesign

 

Mike Swartz (right) hosted a panel of Minneapolis Star Tribune editors, including (left to right)  Josh Penrod, Jim Bernard and Derek Simmons.
Mike Swartz (right) hosted a panel of Minneapolis Star Tribune editors, including (left to right) Josh Penrod, Jim Bernard and Derek Simmons.

Mike Swartz of Upstatement mediated a panel of Minneapolis Star Tribune editors about their recent digital redesign during “Digital Redesign: Simple Lessons, Complicated Process.”

“We weren’t looking to reinvent the wheel,” Derek Simmons, Assistant Managing Editor for Visuals said. “We were looking for a better foundation to put our content on.”

Simmons was joined by Josh Penrod, Presentation Director, Digital and Print and Jim Bernard, Senior Vice President of Digital.

Before the new website is available to the public, almost a year went in to preparation.

“We designed the product together from a project prospective and budget prospective,” Swartz said. “We trusted and we chose each other.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune initiated a request for information, where they reached out to companies to get to know each other and build relationship, rather than comparing bids for numbers.

From there, they conducted user testing, countless meetings and eventually created a new face for the Star Tribune’s online presence.

“We knew that the design had to be flexible and modern with lots and lots of options,” Bernard said. “They pay for the pretty black dress you put on top of the info-structure.”

The new redesign includes an updated navigation system and layout, cohesive typography, new form for cutlines, redesigned blog and columnist icons and increased readability.

“I would love to hear that it feels tailored and that we thought about the readers.” Penrod said.

Even though the Star Tribune has begun its redesign process, they plan to continue to reinvent and update their content, across multiple platforms.

“Once we did the desktop, then we were going to backtrack. After this gets done, we’re going to go back and reapply this to mobile.”

The web redesign will launch on Sunday, April 26.

“I underestimated the amount of time necessary to get us from point A to point B,” Simmons said. “It ate up a lot of time, but it was definitely worth it.”