Writer’s note: Hi, I’m Giovanni Moujaes, product manager here at inewsource. If this post is your first exposure to our organization, I’m honored. If not, I hope you’ll be able to compare your experience last year to this year and share your feedback with us. Thanks for your readership.
It’s a new era of audience-building at inewsource. Justin Rushing, our fearless director of growth and partnerships, earlier this week detailed the changes we’ve made to our site’s look and feel, in addition to hyping our upcoming mobile app release. Thanks to his leadership and foresight (and no, I wasn’t paid to say that), we were able to complete the first true brand refresh at inewsource since 2014.
That’s just the beginning of the changes you’ll begin to see across our site, app and emails. In addition to what Justin stated, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some fun facts about our new releases and a bit of what’s to come on our product roadmap as we look toward the rest of 2023.
Helpful tools for feedback and navigation
First, a more obvious change: You may have noticed a little red box following you around as you navigate our site. The question mark is actually the first deployment in our inewsourcerer suite of tools. We call it “the hub” internally. This is where you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions, event updates and ways to engage with us wherever you go. All the content you’ll find here is written and updated by our staff. I encourage you to interact with the new feature when you have a question or want to let us know about something.
The hub isn’t the only new way to share your experience with us. You’ll also start seeing story impact forms at the end of many stories. They’re called “impact” forms for a reason: We want to know how our coverage of various issues affects what you do and how you do it. In other words, we’re inviting you to tell us how you feel – the good, the bad and the ugly – after reading one of our reports.
This information will help us better understand what’s resonating with you, our fellow readers, and may inform what we prioritize in our coverage going forward. You are more than welcome to fill out a story impact form for a story you’ve read previously as well.
Improving the reading experience
Beyond creating a knowledge base and new ways to offer feedback, we’re also prioritizing accessibility as part of the reading experience. Some of that involves ongoing user interface (UI) decisions, while the rest comes down to strategic partnerships with companies focused on related challenges and opportunities.
To that end, inewsource partnered with Readable in March to do a site audit measuring our story and page readability. We were generally happy with the findings, but saw various ways we could improve our user experience.
In addition to assessing our readability, we are one of the first local news outlets to pilot BeeLine Reader, a text colorizer that studies have shown helps neurodiverse people read easier while increasing page engagement. Even I, as someone who isn’t neurodiverse, have found benefit using it – so much so that it’s now my default reading experience while browsing the internet. We’re hoping the pilot is successful so we can integrate into our ecosystem permanently.
We’ll also be piloting new, engaging ways for our editorial and content teams to add context to stories within the next few weeks. And we’ll be experimenting with reading progress indicators. Stay tuned.
These are just some of our near-term plans. We’re also exploring additional ways to involve and engage our audience through a variety of content and product offerings in the months ahead. Think new newsletters, verticals, events, etc.
In the meantime, we encourage you to take full advantage of our site refresh and new suite of tools. You may see a pop-up over the coming days asking you to share your overall experience; please don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts, good and bad. Your feedback will help us continue to grow a more robust, audience-centric inewsource experience.
Thanks for being a part of this journey with us.
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