â€śWith our more dynamic, fast-changing home page, our goal is to telegraph to the reader that weâ€™re 24/7 online,â€ť said John Byrne, editor in chief of BusinessWeek.com.
In the center column, which will focus on business news, a handful of top stories will include a headline and deck, but most will feature just a headline so that a greater number can be listed. All headlines will note the hour and minute they were posted, â€ścreating the impression for readers that they should come back several times a day because the stories are changing by the minute,â€ť Byrne said.
A new Market Summary section will dominate the left column on the top half of the page. â€śWe had a very small area that summarized how the markets were performing at any given time, but nothing as big or as extensive as what weâ€™re going to [provide],â€ť Byrne said.
While the existing Market Info box simply lists the latest figures and changes for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq, the new section will have tabs that will enable users to quickly click from data on U.S. markets to information on the European and Asian markets. A second box will provide a continuously updated list of the top five gainers and losers, as well as those stocks with the highest trading volume.
Roger Neal, senior VP-general manager of BusinessWeek Digital, explained that the home page redesign â€śis really serving the loyal, core BusinessWeek audienceâ€ť rather than a user who lands on a specific article via search. Through focus groups and other research, BusinessWeek found that â€śwe needed to have a far more dynamic home page that would encourage more frequent visits.â€ť
Two other significant changes will be simplified navigation across the top of the page and a video player imbedded in the right-hand column. Although BusinessWeek.com has been increasing its amount of online video content for some time, the videos have appeared on story pages. â€śBy placing the player on the home page, it does raise the game because it makes video a more central part of the overall experience,â€ť Byrne said.
The new home page will continue to show user comments from BusinessWeek.comâ€™s companion site, Business Exchange (http://bx.businessweek.com), which allows users to create business topics and aggregate content from anywhere on the Web under those topics.
Neal noted that the refurbished BusinessWeek.com will use the same underlying technology as Business Exchange. â€śThis platform gives us a lot more flexibility editorially, and it allows us to provide a lot more creative executions for advertisers as well,â€ť he said.
Next month, BusinessWeek will launch its first mobile applications for the Apple iPhone and Research in Motionâ€™s BlackBerry.