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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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We changed our website theme

Two screenshots before  collegian.com homepage, after collegian.com homepage
A side by side comparison of the homepages before and after the website re-design. Illustration: Chapman Croskell

Editor’s note: This is an editorial. Editorials do not reflect the view of all employees of the Collegian, but instead represent a stance taken by the Collegian’s editorial board, which consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the digital production manager, the news editors, the opinion editor, the sports editor and the arts and culture editors. 

In an effort to keep up with the changing trends of digital journalism and to better serve our audience, we have changed the website theme of collegian.com.

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Highlights of the changes:

  • Photography tiles (instead of a photo gallery slider) as a means of featuring stories
  • Moving items on our menu to better reflect the organization of our departments
  • Adding a prominent Spanish section to the homepage menu
  • Increasing the visible stories per section on our homepage so that news, opinion, sports, and arts and culture each can feature six stories at once
  • Addition of a related articles feed at the bottom of each story for additional engagement
  • Increasing the Collegian’s social media presence on the homepage
  • Showing featured photography for each story
  • A better organized, more condensed sidebar

Each of these changes has been so that we can provide a better, more robust website to our readers. At the forefront of our minds for this change has also been a commitment to web design that helps to foster media literacy. For example, one of the issues we had was that in our previous theme, the photo slider on the homepage gave equal prominence to five featured stories a day, without highlighting the current cover story, or the importance of other stories in the slider.

We hope to communicate with our web design something about the structure of our departments and operations at student media.

We have also made an effort to better differentiate on the website between the journalistic departments and the business departments of student media, as our news, opinion, sports, and arts and culture desks all operate independently of the marketing, advertising, and sponsored teams. This way, we hope the placement of our menus will help to reinforce visually that advertising and editorial content are separate processes, each with separate menus.

Ultimately, the changes we have made to the site we hope will make it easier to navigate and engage with our content, but beyond that, we also hope to communicate with our web design something about the structure of our departments and operations at student media.

As the week progresses, you may some other changes to the format as we continue to improve the website’s usability. Each change we make will be informed by the guiding principles of media literacy and user experience best practices. If you have feedback about the changes, we encourage you to reach out to Digital Production Manager Mikaela Rodenbaugh at mrodenbaugh@collegian.com to have your voice heard. Thank you as always, for reading and being with us. 

The Collegian Editorial Board can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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