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Process

Testing Our Proposed Story Tools Redesign

In the coming weeks we’re planning to adjust our story tools at the top of the story pages. Here is an example of what we have in mind:

A screen capture of our proposed new sharing tools.
npr.org

Here’s an example of what they look like now, for comparison’s sake:

A screen capture of our current sharing tools.
npr.org

We took these out for some user testing today, but we thought we would also ask our power users (IE, those of you who read this blog!) what you think. What’s your reaction to the layout? Are the labels and buttons intuitive? Do you think the proposed change would impact how you use them?

We’ve also had some discussions about the "recommend" button.  Right now, it serves as a platform-agnostic way to put in a "vote" or "recommendation" (or "like" or "digg" in other speak) for a particular story.  We know it does get a fair amount of use, and we publish the most "recommended" stories in our most popular bucket on the home and story pages.

However, does that do enough?  Should "recommend" actually be a bookmarking feature?  Should we do away with recommend and instead push our most "Shared" stories (via e-mail, social media, etc) — since if you choose to share a story, you’re actually recommending it? Or do we want to leave it as is, to allow a form of democratic participation on our site that isn’t reliant on third-party social media tools?

We’re having these discussions right now, and we want to invite you to have a say in the process. What does it mean to "Recommend" a story on NPR.org? What should we do?

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