USA TODAY is unveiling significant upgrades and a new design of USATODAY.com that include new features, a simplified design, and competitive page speed for its audience of more than 80 million digital users. The updated website is one of the most visible milestones as the company continues its digital product evolution with unique, modern brand experiences across desktop and mobile web, plus mobile apps.
The new site simplifies the user experience to drive deeper engagement. USA TODAY’s product design team studied a year’s worth of engagement and search trends to optimize how content is arranged and displayed. The update introduces “flags” which highlight trending content, a new display for sought-after franchises such as Humankind and Sports Pulse, as well as an improved site search. These changes come ahead of editorial tentpoles across sports and politics, including the Olympics and the 2020 election.
Additionally, the design updates reflect USA TODAY’s commitment to telling stories through innovative signature experiences, complete with the brand’s iconic use of color. Each subsection is labeled with bold colors to help audiences and advertisers more easily appreciate USA TODAY as more than just news, with content spanning sports, entertainment, money, tech and more.
The enhancements also represent an opportunity for a richer advertiser experience and greater performance. Increased page speed and personalization features will combine to drive deeper user engagement and higher ad viewability, leading to superior campaign results. Additionally, the site’s new features take a fresh approach to both branded and sponsored content, offering advertisers a more “ownable” experience, with custom templates to prominently feature their brand alongside USA TODAY’s trusted, award-winning journalism.
“With the new visual design and pages that load faster than we can see, we aimed to delight our loyal users while also providing more brand-safe environments with unique creative opportunities for advertisers,” said Kris Barton, Chief Product Officer, Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK. “We are committed to delivering engaging products and this initiative keeps USA TODAY at the forefront of digital media innovation.”
One example of that innovation is a bold commitment to transparency. Across platforms–desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and soon, newsletters–a new bold, yellow label serves as a “virtual highlighter” to brightly distinguish opinion pieces from USA TODAY’s reporting.
The changes to USA TODAY’s website are rolling out throughout October and follow several enhancements made over the last year that have increased user engagement across platforms, including more personalized content with USA TODAY’s mobile apps and improvements to photo galleries.