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MiamiHerald.com becomes easier read with website improvements

 

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Rick Hirsch, managing editor, can be reached at 305-376-3504 or rhirsch@MiamiHerald.com. The mailing address is 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, FL 33172.

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rhirsch@MiamiHerald.com

We’ve made some changes on our news website, MiamiHerald.com. We think they make it easier and quicker to find the news you’re looking for — and we hope they help you discover stories you didn’t realize you wanted to read.

That’s an important challenge with a news site as large and varied as ours. In a typical month, some six million people visit MiamiHerald.com, viewing articles, videos, photos and ads in hundreds of different sections on topics that range from the serious to silly, from coverage of Miami-Dade County Hall to the comedy in Dave Barry’s blog.

With a site so vast, it’s difficult to recreate the serendipitous experience many people enjoy in reading a newspaper — stumbling upon a story you didn’t know you’d be interested in. It’s compounded on a website, with so many inquiries driven by searching for words, names or topics, rather than exploring by scanning what is on a page.

We think the new navigation makes exploring easier — and we hope you do, too.

Now, if hover with your mouse over one of the tabs (News, Sports, Business, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Opinion, Obituaries, Subscriptions and Weather) that appear in the Miami Herald masthead, you get a dropdown of additional related topics as well as featured headlines. It isn’t necessary to leave the homepage for a deeper scan of the latest news.

Move your cursor over the weather icon and you get a five-day forecast. Sports gives you a dropdown of sections on our pro and college teams and other sports as well as an assortment of the latest headlines.

The navigation also makes it simpler to find key services. The Obituary tab shows recent articles, as well as a search box and links to help you place a death notice for a loved one. The subscription tab reveals different options for print and digital subscribers.

And the improvements to MiamiHerald.com come only three months after we revamped our iPad app to make it faster and easier to customize, and a week after we updated our Android apps with an interface that better highlights photos.

“We will continue to update and enhance our digital products over the course of the next year,” said Alex Fuentes, the general manager for Miami Herald Interactive. “When complete, we’ll have a new experience for readers that will highlight our content across multiple platforms.”

Next month, we’ll roll out similar navigation improvements on elnuevoherald.com. And our Interactive Department has more improvements in store for our websites.

Next week, upgraded iPhone apps for Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald will be in the iTunes store, with a new interface and design. They will include a focus on photos, and it will be easier to discover content by swiping between sections.

And by the end of July, Windows 8 apps should launch for both phone and desktop users.

As with any change, we know to expect glitches here and there — and we know some users may not like them as much as we do. Please let us know how you think these changes affect your Miami Herald experience. We’ll continue to respond to your feedback.

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