Business Daily is the sister publication to the well known Daily Nation newspaper and for a while, they were using the same content management system (CMS) on their online edition.
This week, Business Daily launched their new look, which has extended from their paper version to their online edition. You can see several changes on the site after they moved to a new CMS.
The first thing you notice is the revamped layout elements on the Business Daily website. The top bar that had links to sister sites was shifted from the top to the bottom of the homepage.
Article categories have been moved from the bottom half of the page to the right side of the page beside the headline story for easier navigation. In the old system, categories were arranged in a column format which works well on the paper edition but it is not user friendly on the online edition. The new system arranges the categories better in a wide-screen format (for desktop) complete with a bolder background for each category.
The stock ticker that used to appear on the front page of the old system is now available in every article as a persistent bar at the top.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange table that shows the various stock prices of the publicly traded companies was persistent in every article in the old system and in the new one, it is restricted to the home page.
Better user experience on mobile and desktop
The biggest change for the website is the improved user experience for the reader. In the old CMS, the website was optimized for the desktop reader but the experience was really bad on mobile. On mobile, the page was rendered a desktop layout and some elements like clicking on an article needed an extra step like zooming on the webpage.
In the new system, the experience has been improved greatly on mobile where content is rendered in a portrait format which works well for this format.
Another area that was given a revamp is search, which was not good at all in the previous system. The old system did not yield accurate results when you wanted to search for a certain item in the database.
For example, I searched for Sportpesa on the old system (cached on Web archive) and I expected to see results which were related to the betting firm, but no search result gave me the intended result on the first page.
When I searched for the same keyword in the new system, the search results were very relevant to the keyword which is great! I didn’t even need to fine tune my search results according to type, location, date range, category or how it is sorted which was also present in the old system.
A small but vital change to the system was the introduction of the classic search icon. It looks weird to have both a search bar and a search icon since they have the same function, but on using it, the search bar is intended for you to make a quick search while tapping on the search icon will allow you to fine tune your search.
Business Daily has changed its font type which is clearly visible if you’re keen enough. The old “Business Daily” brand and articles used Tahoma while the headlines used Georgia. The new Business Daily uses sans-serif font typeface (Business Daily brand name), PT-Serif for the articles and headlines and PT-Sans for the author names, category names and the footer elements.
The general experience is better overall when compared to the previous system but there is one element that is not working currently: The hamburger menu.
This feature is used to reveal a hidden menu and it does not work on both desktop and on mobile. This is actually more annoying on mobile since the default mobile view (without asking for the desktop site explicitly) shows the hamburger menu and you can’t use it to see the various menu bar items. On desktop, it only appears when you shrink the browser window size but on full screen mode.
The revamp is especially beneficial to that reader who uses his or her smartphone to read Business Daily articles. This is where we see the biggest change in the user experience for the reader. On desktop, the interface has been optimized better for the wide-screen format that is typical with desktops.