The Salt Lake Tribune has launched a redesigned Web site.
If you’re a fan of newspaper branding, you will love the masthead. Circ directors will love the prominent play to the subscribe link. The nav is horizontal, as it should be. Of course, tabs would be better. I love the right-side special features nav – good looking, essential information with nice icons. The play of text stories is reasonable, both for top stories and other coverage (side note: I can’t let it pass without notice – they have a whole section dedicated just to polygamy). The calendar placement is appropriate. Finally, search is nice and big and at the top of the page.
Unfortunately, the search is not integrated. My test search terms are always “ford mustang,” which should return both articles and classifieds. Sltrib.com returns only articles. The results search page is attractive with a cool tree view of the results set on the right side of the page, but that doesn’t help me if I’m trying to find something in classifieds. And if I want to navigate to obituaries through search? Forget it. It won’t work.
And there are other problems, as I see it: The feature/photo story rotates through too many choices. I question the whole rotation without letting users decide if it should rotate. Tabs would be better. Verticals (cars, housing, jobs) are pretty much lost on the page. Also, multimedia is nothing more than a link to photos – no video or Flash I could see. Video should be linked right from the home page. Kudos to the Tribune for a number of staff blogs, but where are the citizen blogs?
Overall, great color scheme and nice layout with a quality visual treatment.