Years ago, I didn’t understand what designing websites for accessibility really meant. I thought that accessibility guidelines would only benefit a few users, that they would introduce unsatisfying design limitations, and that following them would take more time and money.
The redesigned Twincities.com, the website of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, launched last week and Alley Interactive is proud to have played a part. Through strategy, design, and development, we worked closely with Pioneer Press parent company Digital First Media to build a forward-thinking site that improved the online experience for Twincities.com’s audience, editors, and advertisers.
What were some of the biggest improvement for Twincities.com?
Alley’s design team created a clean, modern look that is responsive across different screens and devices. The new design streamlines the visual experience for the audience, making stories feel more compelling and encouraging lateral traffic and social sharing. The design team stayed mindful of business and revenue requirements throughout the process, and came up with a solution that allowed for both immersive stories and a natural advertising experience.
Alley’s open-source Ad Layers WordPress plugin lets the Pioneer-Press advertising teams customize the layout of advertisements on the site directly within the WordPress CMS without having to log in to an outside client or work with internal developers. In addition, the plugin also improves ad viewability in accordance with industry best practices. These factors allow the sales and ops team to service their advertisers more effectively.
The Pioneer Press’s editors and reporters moved off of their legacy CMS and on to WordPress VIP. We implemented a WordPress integration with their print CMS, which means that every story can be edited for both print and online display within the same WordPress edit screen. Homepage curation is now also far simpler, with a drag-and-drop interface that allows producers and editors to easily add news or move stories around the page.
Congratulations to the Twincities.com team on a successful launch, and we are happy to have been their partner on this endeavor.