Oh, Look! A Shiny Thing: The Globe's new website is a thing of beauty and power
Sleek, streamlined, and entirely lacking in hideous frames and blinking text strings, the Globe has a new website, and we hope you like it as much as we do.
Yes, my children, the first time I ever made a website, digital dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Black backgrounds with neon text were still cool, grainy “under construction” images littered the Internet and it took hours to download everything you needed for your class report on Indonesia.
Fortunately for everyone’s sore, bleeding eyeballs, the Internet has changed since the 1990s.
While the Globe’s website has been updated many times in those 20-plus years, it received its most recent facelift last week, after months of planning and a few days of frenzied activity on our part.
At first glance, dglobe.com looks pretty similar to the way it did before, at least from a design perspective. It has a stripped-down look, with a clean white background accented in blue, and it looks nice on a desktop but arguably looks even better on a phone or tablet.
The revamped sections are probably the best part of the new design, though. They are no longer visible by default on the page, and you need to click into the menu to see them — this helps keep the pages clutter-free.
When the sections do show up, there aren’t as many of them, meaning it’s significantly easier to find what you’re looking for.
Section titles are mostly self-explanatory now, too. For example, if you’re looking for local news, the vast majority of it is in the “Local” section under “News.”
While the days of noisy modems and waiting all evening for a single song to download are long gone, our most observant readers have likely noticed a significant jump in loading speed with the redesign. Text and images show up much quicker now, which is a boon to people who are easily distracted, like me.
It’s also easier to get to other Forum Communications Company sites. I used to live in the Willmar area, and I have family and friends in Fargo and Jamestown in North Dakota, too, so it’s nice to be able to jump to the other sites.
The “Opinion” section has been updated, so it should be easier for everyone to tell when you’re reading news and when you’re reading opinions.
Even the ads are better. Wait, wait, don’t throw your rotten veggies at me yet! Ads can actually be useful, reminding you of upcoming events or useful products you want to pick up. We’re keeping our best ad spots for our local advertisers now, so you should get more relevant ads.
The best thing about the new site is something you might not notice for a while, though, as we’re all still getting used to working with it ourselves: it is incredibly flexible. We’ll be able to do a ton of cool things with the new design that should make it more useful and more fun to read.
Though if you’re feeling nostalgic, I can probably find a hideous “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” pic to put up there too.
Hey, how about we start with our very best dial-up modem impression, circa 1998: wrrrrr-WHRRRR-PING-PING-THHHHHHhhhh…