Slightly more than a decade ago, The Globe and Mail launched globeandmail.com, beginning a journey that started with breaking business and national news. Over that period, readers have seen no less than eight versions of our "main page" on the website.
We've been keenly aware of the power of our home page. It demands authority, not unlike our print front page.
But it also has some very different needs to suit our online readership. In the evolving world of digital media, a homepage demands constant change with headlines, photos, community and commentary. It sets the tone of our brand - over the years, it has become the trusted news page for big events and election nights, but it's also a part of your daily read on the site or through our mobile products.
Of course, we also realize that not everyone is always coming to globeandmail.com through our homepage. Our new navigation and article pages also act as a front door to the rest of the site. That's why we bring some of the "Must Reads" and editor-chosen content into that page as well.
Running a homepage is a demanding task. We have to balance the needs of you, the reader, with the ever-changing flow of daily news and business stories.
We also want to bring you more Globe content throughout the day from other sections that we know matter in your daily life - Life, Sports, Arts, Drive and Technology.
This Friday, we introduce the next version of our home page. Let us know what you think through the comments at the bottom of the page.
News is at our core
Readers come to us throughout the day to check up on the news. They want a few simple answers to the question: "What is going on in the world right now?" This top area allows you to scan our headlines and puts the latest, most important news front and centre.
If breaking news happens, we will make it easier to highlight for readers who visit multiple times a day. Home pages are typically quickly scanned so we've cleaned up our copy to give you crisp headlines without the extra text.
Today's Must Reads
We've said it before. The Globe is not just about news. We produce content and commentary that speak to all aspects of your lives - from features to discussions to quick service articles. Our new Today's Must Reads is a curated list of top items on our site for you to browse through daily. It has larger photos to draw you in and really see what the article is about. They'll change every few hours and if you click on See More, you can come back and see a list of them from the full day.
Hot Topic area
We wanted to highlight an area on the page where we can dig deeper into a topic or issue - through polls, discussions and specific content. In the next couple of weeks, we will be covering a variety of topics that matter to Canadians in our series called Canada: It's Time to Lead. You will be able to find a consistent daily display of selected items from the series in this area. As we move forward, we will be using this spot to highlight hot topics and daily issues.
Facebook and Most Popular
The Most Popular area is a favourite on this page and it is still in the same place, though we also now display a Facebook module beside it as well. This allows you to see what other people (or your friends) are recommending on Facebook.
Our old home page held a lot of sections where you could read headlines such as Business and Politics. Our new home page continues that but we've added more art while shortening up the page.
Business and Investing
We have two sites, Report on Business and Globe Investor. Now on our home page, you will get both the top business headlines and the features and popular columns in our Investor section.
Our new Life home page displays more content with more visuals. On this home page, you'll get a selection of the top stories across all of Globe Life's sections, from food and wine, to health and style.
This is one area we want Globe readers to be able to access easily online. You will find a selection of our best editorials, commentary, editorial cartoons and a changing lineup of your favourite columnists in this new section.
For the news junkie who hasn't gotten enough at the top of the home page, we show you a slice of the news that make up the breadth of coverage, from world, national, politics and from local pages like British Columbia and Toronto.
We will be introducing new features and running series in this spot throughout each day.
Photos and Discussions
At the bottom of our page, we've displayed our picture galleries along with past and live discussions.
Again for the scanning reader, we've placed a condensed, easy-to-read section for our sports, arts, technology and auto news. They are located at the bottom of the page.
Thanks to everyone for their comments so far, both on this article and on John Stackhouse's redesign note. Some of you have mentioned that the home page feels like it has less news on it now. The intention behind our redesign is to show off more of the breadth and depth of The Globe's full website. If your looking for a larger selection of hard news coverage, both national and international, we encourage you to visit our new, dedicated news page.
Also, some of you are wondering what happened to our Health and Science coverage. It isn't gone. Readers can still find science coverage in the Technology section, and Health coverage on our Life page.
Thanks again to all who have offered constructive feedback so far.