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A Closer Look At The Livemint.com Redesign

Mint, the business daily from HT Media launched in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, seems to have redesigned its website Livemint.com.

Cleaner Design: The revamp is fairly comprehensive and the design is visually more clean than the previous one. Format wise, Livemint seems to have replaced its previous three column design with a magazine format design. There is a cover story section with related stories in sub-text, followed by other featured stories from the portal.

The site offers dedicated sections, to showcase the latest developments across various categories like Money, Opinions, Companies, Consumer, Industry and Politics. Each of the sections features a single line excerpt from the latest story and other headlines in that specific section.

Besides this, the homepage also offers different horizontal content sliders to feature articles from its Lounge section as well as its slideshows and videos. Interestingly, we noticed that the Editor’s pick section has also been removed from individual stories and has been placed at the bottom of the homepage. However, since the slider for this section is relatively small when compared to other content sliders in the homepage, it is quite possible that the user might miss the section altogether.

The site also offers a keyword based search box which allows users to search for any specific story. When we checked, we observed that the search results include both stories and videos from the portal. While there is currently no way to filter these search results on the basis of freshness or by content type, the site does offer an advanced search option which allows one to search for stories in a specific time period and news section.

Horizontal Navigation bar: Instead of a vertical navigation bar in the previous design, the site now features an omni-present horizontal navigation bar, allowing one to choose any specific news section among Companies, Industry, Policy, Consumer, Money and Opinions. Upon hovering over any of the category tab, the site pops up a drop down menu showcasing the latest news article in that section along with a single line excerpt and and the article image.

In addition, the menu also offers quick links to the other recent articles in that specific section and relevant sub-sections. For instance, the companies section will offer quick links to sub-sections like people and results along with recent articles in the companies section.

Besides this, the navigation bar also offers quick access to Mint slideshows, videos and special sections like obituaries, Mint Profiles and the recently concluded Olympics 2012 section.

Interactive Stock Widget: The site now features a tabbed stock widget on the right navigation bar featuring the latest quote from both Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), and an interactive chart plotting the ups and downs of indices in the first tab, commodity information in the second and currency chart in the third with quick links to the dedicated section to browse through additional information. There is also a search box which allows one to search for equity stocks, Mutual funds and commodities.

Live Chat: Apart from this, the site also features a most read section showcasing the most read articles on the portal and a poll widget. At the time of writing this article, the site was also conducting a live chat through a CoverItLive module, allowing readers to interact with a stock market expert. We are not sure it was a one-off thing or the site plans to have regular live chats in the future.

Articles: Coming to story pages or articles, the site offers a mixture of news, opinions, and slideshows as before.  However, the related articles section which was previously in the sidebar, has now been incorporated within the story. We feel that the new layout is more close to blogs, and offers better readability. Each story also includes relevant search keywords, various social media buttons to recommend and forward the content through email or share it on Facebook and Twitter and the ability to contact the author over email.

Interestingly, we found that the site loads sidebar widgets based on the news category. For instance, an opinion story will only showcase additional opinion stories in the sidebar while a company based story like Kingfisher will additionally offer a stock widget providing the latest stock quote from BSE and an interactive graph tracking the ups and downs of the company on the stock exchange.

Ads: At the time of writing this article, the site featured a mixture of banner and video ads, although we are quite glad that the company had muted the video ad and offered controls to users to either pause, stop or unmute the video ad.

The redesigned site would be officially launched on 17th September, according to Mint Editor, Sukumar Ranganathan. We feel that the redesign is a welcome change and totally in-line with Mint’s content strategy, highlighting relevant content, and keeping a clean lay-out at the same time.

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