I LOVE LOOKING at before-and-after pages. They give me wonderful insight on how things have changed for the better (most times!). Here are two sports fronts from Marcus, which changed (much for the better!) as part of a recent redesign.
Sending along two of our redesigned feature sports pages that we had to incorporate with the new styles, etc. as a before Ed, after Ed (but mistakes not his fault).
These are both still evolving after the first week and my skin’s thick enough to take a few cuts on how I’m transitioning it so far.
Game Day 2011
I’ve taken this page over and we’ve moved it from a live page on Friday shift for Saturday edition to a 90 percent preprod page. This should allow us some time to do some different things with it once everyone adapts but will allow scores from Thur games and any late injury news to be incorporated.
Content-wise we have discarded the AP material we got on the SEC for lacking quality. Several years back it was a weekly package, but it’s not anymore and no one seems to know where the material from last year came from, including those who did the page.
Instead we have localized to feature more of our local schools inside and to provide updates on prep players from the area on the college level. The SEC is now a standings/games list breakout to a SEC game advance in the regular sports section.
I hated that notebook graphic so suggestions from others that I to keep it went on deaf ears and that material was broken down to make a breakout chimney to the main story.
I’m not sure how much I like the photo in the flag. I thought it worked on the protptypes with different material, but not so sure of it or maybe the photo choice after the first one.
I am keeping fingers crossed we will get a 6×2 strip ad for bottom of page that uses something beside clip art, but no word yet on if its been sold or if my request registered.
1. Perhaps doing an orange header against a mostly-orange photo just doesn’t work.
2. Write this down, Marcus: NEVER…EVER…PUT A PUN IN QUOTES! NEVER. EVER. It sends a signal to readers that they’re just not bright enough to “get it” without the quotes. To readers who “get it,” it’s an insult. To readers who don’t “get it,” they still won’t “get it” with the quotes. Get it? (And yes, I just yelled at you!)
3. You redeemed yourself for the quote faux pas by getting rid of that silly, cliché notebook spiral. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
4. Love the large photo. Way to go!
. . . . . .
Prep Football the material is pretty static (we get enough feedback we might as well call it Faith and I think we keep a good handle on what readers want to see, but we may be over-catering to moms and dads who email, text, call, stop us at games, etc.)
I have to take blame for what we had before, but the redesign did let me get a few things done. Using the photos of team helmets was one of those items. Asking photogs to save me a favorite horizontal strip for the header was another ( though I will have to coordinate that a little better to keep from getting same game as feature, as I learned here).
Since somehow the responsibility for the house ad for this page lives on this side of the building (and its the only one in that odd spot), I took the comments on the solunar table to this area as well and dumped the clip art that I inherited.
1. The white header works better here.
2. Bottom of the page is gray, gray, gray.
3. Lead (and only!) photo is too small, too small, too small.
4. I’ve never been a fan of helmets-as-icons. I think their use is cliché, too.
Still, it’s a lot better than last year’s page, with that silly header, the gradient screen behind the pullout and the heavy, heavy standing head.