RTÉ.ie unveils major redesigns

Wednesday 13 October 2010 16.00
Our new site makes it easier for you to find more content
Our new site makes it easier for you to find more content

Welcome to RTÉ.ie's new-look News and Business website. It is the first of two major RTÉ.ie redesigns that we are unveiling today. The other one, which you may have missed if you came directly to rte.ie/news or rte.ie/business, is the RTÉ.ie home page.

News and Business

I'm Tom Grealis, the News, Business and Sports Editor of RTÉ.ie. Later we'll talk about the redesign of the RTÉ.ie home page, but firstly let's focus on the News and Business redesign.

So, what has changed, and why have we changed it?

We wanted to make it easier for you to find the content that's relevant to you and to allow you to discover sections that maybe you didn't know existed on RTÉ.ie.

It's important to point out that what we have done is a redesign of how we present content. And with our new design you will find more feature and analysis content, which we hope you will enjoy.

Our aim while redesigning the News and Business site was to give our users in Ireland and around the world a service that meets their needs. And we wanted to place a greater emphasis on making RTÉ.ie/news a source of timely, relevant and trustworthy breaking news.

We have combined all available information (text, images, video, audio, keywords and links) on the story pages. The new slide-out video and embedded audio player on a story means you have the option of continuing to read the text while the multimedia content plays.

Our new design allows us to give greater visual prominence to major news stories or events (e.g. Budget Day). It also gives you easy access to RTÉ News Now - RTÉ's 24-hour live and looped video news service - which can be quickly reached via a tab beside Latest Stories.

RTÉ News Now includes regular news updates in between the main bulletins - One News, Six One, Nine News, Nuacht, News with Signing and all the latest weather forecasts. The service transmits two hours of Morning Ireland live from a webcam in the RTÉ radio studio each morning.

In addition to live news coverage, RTÉ News Now offers sports and business updates, and a variety of current affairs programmes such as Leaders’ Questions, Prime Time, The Frontline and live news feeds from broadcasters around the world.

In between these programmes the service loops the latest programme. For example, the Six One News is looped between 7pm – when the Six One News ends – and 9pm – when the Nine News starts.

The redesigned News and Business site merges what used to be two distinct sites into one. The Business section continues to offer market reports, a tool for currency conversion, a technology section, and the latest data on Irish stocks and shares. It is also still accessible from the RTÉ.ie home page.

The new site also gives you an enhanced search engine where you can quickly and easily access text/video/audio content from the RTÉ online news archive dating back to 1998.

The site now has a simpler and more intuitive lay-out with navigation categories broken down into Ireland, World, Business and Sport.

Home Page

RTÉ.ie is a big website. It has many sites, sections and sub-sections, and putting a representative front page on all of those presents a challenge.

Our aims with the home page redesign were to enable you to stay on top of what's happening at home and abroad, to improve the look and feel of the site, and to highlight some of the things we have that you may have missed with the old design.

The new RTÉ.ie home page is broken down into four sections.

The top section – Latest News - is designed to give you everything you need to know at a glance. It is divided into four modules: News, Sport, Entertainment, and Business. The size of each module can change depending on what's going on.

The next section of the new home page is where you'll find out what's on now. This area offers live video from RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, as well as live programmes from RTÉ Radio. Each day you will also find interesting items available for catch-up from RTÉ Player.

Moving down the page and you'll find our Life & Style section. Every day we'll display features across a range of lifestyle interests from tasty recipes to fashion tips, and from travel diaries to motor reviews.

The Explore RTÉ section at the foot of the new home page provides a site map for RTÉ.ie. It also offers quick access to sections including Jobs, Property and Dating, as well as the latest Lotto and Euromillions numbers, and RTÉ Aertel pages.

What’s behind the changes

Much time, effort and soul-searching has gone into the redesigns. And there have been many, let's say, 'lively' discussions about the best way to proceed. Throughout it all, however, every single decision – big and small – has been taken with your experience in mind.

We see this as a great opportunity to bring a fresher, more modern and more adaptable approach to how we present you with content. It is over three-and-a-half years since our last redesign, and in web terms that's a very long time. So this is not change for the sake of it; it's change because we want to bring you the very best of RTÉ.ie.

We hope you like the changes we've made. We will, of course, continue to tweak things and to offer you more of the content that you want.

We'd also like you to tell us what you think of our redesigns. We've put together an FAQ for the News and Business site, and we will add to the FAQ over the coming weeks. We hope you find it helpful, but you may have feedback on areas not covered in the FAQ. If so, please leave your comment below. It will take us time to sift through all of your comments so please be patient and bear with us.

We also welcome feedback at homepage@rte.ie. Due to the large number of emails we receive, it is not always possible to respond but please be assured that your comments will be taken into account for continual review.

Many thanks for reading. Now go and explore!